Liverpool Blue Coat School
The Liverpool Blue Coat School is a voluntary aided secondary school located in Wavertree, Liverpool and is Liverpool's only Grammar School. The school was previously a boys' school but as of September 2002 it now accepts students of both sexes. The Blue Coat School holds a long-standing academic tradition; examination results consistently place the school top of the local, and near the head of national GCSE and A-level league tables. In 2004 the school received a Government grant of almost £8 million, together with more than £1 million from the School's Foundation Governors, the site was expanded and redeveloped.

The school was founded in 1708 by Mr Bryan Blundell and Rev. Robert Styth as "a school for teaching poor children to read, write and cast accounts". The original Blue Coat School expanded rapidly and a new building, the present Bluecoat Arts Centre, opened in 1718. At the start of the 20th century it was decided that the School needed to move from the polluted Town Centre to somewhere quieter, and the village of Wavertree was the site chosen. The architects chosen for the design of the new building were Briggs, Wolstenholme & Thornely, most notable for the design of the Port of Liverpool Building. In 1906 the school took possession of the building and was later designated a Grade II* listed building. Later additions include a clock tower and the Fenwick Memorial Chapel: used for assemblies by the school. On 25 August 1958 a fire broke out within the school building, on the roof on the North front. It was 7pm with only 170 boarders remaining inside the school. Nobody was hurt during the fire, though water and smoke damage remained.

The first stage of the redevelopment involved demolishing the aging swimming pool, '70s built sixth form centre, and old sports hall. The North Wing was renovated and extended with modern laboratories, sports and dance facilities. The dining room became the new library with over 35 computers as well as many traditional books, and the old library space has become a new sixth form centre. Also on the North Wing, a new music room has been added, to replace the previous music room on the East Wing. The new music room facilities include: three practice rooms; two main teaching class rooms; a sound-proof recording studio; an instrument storage room; and an office for head of department. A new administration area was built on the site of the old 6th Form Centre and the South Wing has been sold to be converted into designer apartments.

Church of England status
The Department for Education and Skills is currently considering the school's legal status receiving notification from the Diocese of Liverpool that the Liverpool Blue Coat School is a Church of England school. The Diocese took action when it discovered that a 2000 agreement between the school and the Charity Commission had committed the school to teaching the doctrines of the Church of England, in line with its founders' intentions. Church of England status would give the Diocese the right to conduct inspections. If these identified a problem, the school would be required to find a solution, although not necessarily the solution proposed by the Diocese. It is likely that the Church of England would find the appointment of a non-Christian headteacher to be such a problem. The school authorities and the parent-teacher association are strongly opposed to Church of England status. They argue that the school has both a Christian and multicultural ethos, and that designated Church of England status will inevitably change its character as Anglican officials, parents and prospective teachers try to become involved in the school. They point out that one recent headmaster was a notable Welsh Presbyterian. The Diocese states that under the Education Act 1998, any school that teaches Anglican doctrines automatically receives Church of England status, so neither the Diocese nor the school has any choice in the matter. They claim that the Diocese's policies on selection and multiculturalism are essentially identical with the school's. They also point out that the Bishop of Liverpool and the Dean of Liverpool have ceremonial roles in the school's governing body, that the school has had an Anglican chaplain for at least 40 years, and that the school's Founders' service has long been held in the Church of England's Liverpool Cathedral.

Tricentenary appeal
The school celebrated its 300th birthday in 2008, making it the longest educating school in Liverpool. Many rapturous celebrations took place, and to mark the occasion the school has undertaken to raise £1,000,000 to fund two new developments. The first of these is to build an astro turf on the present playing fields, to carry the school's sporting successes further. The second is to convert the front of the Old School, or East Wing, into a Study Area for the exclusive use of Year 13, as the 6th Form has already outgrown its present accommodation. The foundation trustees have already donated £100,000 to the trust and the school is promoting a range of fund-raising activities, one such example being the annual summer fair. At the start of the autumn term 2007 the total stood at £416,886.

Clubs & Societies
The school offers many extracurricular activities that are held throughout the course of the school week these include the following:
  • Debate Club
  • Rugby Team (founded 2007)
  • Badminton Club
  • Dramatics Society - Actors, Actresses, Stage Crew and Band
  • Medical Ethics
  • Law Society
  • Bridge Club
  • Chess Club
  • Computer Club
  • Music Society - Orchestra, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Choir
  • Scriptures Union
  • Junior Maths Games Club
  • Christian Union
  • Community Service
  • Craft Club
  • Social Services Committee
  • Midbank
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme
  • School Library
  • Art Club
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Hockey Club
  • Gym Club
  • Dance Club
The school is also known for its frequent trips to Kenya every two years, where charitable sixth form students fundraise to help some of the poorest Kenyans in a month long scheme during the summer holidays.

The East Wing
The East Wing of the School comprises the Clock Tower, the Chapel, the former administration block and the former music rooms, along with an apartment. After a large investment by the School's charitable Foundation the whole of the East wing has been fully refurbished. After completion, Notable improvements include:
  • All 4 clock faces on the clock tower being replaced and fixed, so that each face shows the same time.
  • Extensive repairs to the roof and masonry work.
  • Redecoration and restoration of the Chapel, including the Organ.
  • Restoration of the Board Room.
  • Installation of catering facilities.
  • The mothballing of the former headmaster's study and office areas for a Year 13 centre.
The facilities of the Foundation, including Chapel, Board Room, reception areas and the Shirley Hall are all available for hire, including weddings and services as of July 2006.

Prefect system
There are usually between 40-55 Prefects from the Sixth Form, representing about one sixth of the Sixth Form as a whole. Members of the Upper and Lower 6th can become Prefects through a process of Staff nominations and Interviews. These interviews take place in two batches: one in December, where around 10 - 15 Prefects are appointed from the Lower 6th, to supplement the 30 - 40 Upper Sixth Prefects already present, and a further set of interviews in May, to provide replacements for the soon-to-leave Upper 6th Prefects. The Prefects are charged with maintaining order in the corridors during Break and Lunch times, and typically do two break duties and two lunch duties each week, together with members of Staff. The Prefects also play a large role in other events, the most important ones being the Entrance Examination, Prize Giving and Founders' Day, with the Procession at Prize Giving and Founders' Day being led by the Head of School ( Head Boy or Head Girl) .The Prefects also play a part in the Parents Association events, helping after school at discos, fairs and quizzes. There are four ranks of Prefect:
  • Prefect
  • Senior Prefect
  • Deputy Head of School
  • Head of School
There are also Prefects specific to certain areas, such as Library Prefects and IT Prefects. These are recommended by the Head of Department to the Head of Sixth Form, who then decides whether or not they are to be made Prefects. In practice, the authority of these prefects is generally confined to that specific area, as the lack of an interview process means they tend to be seen by students (and sometimes other prefects) as 'junior' prefects. They are useful for monitoring certain areas or practices with special rules, especially as they are usually already involved in them before selection. The Heads of School and Deputies also play a part in deciding policy, especially with regard to the sixth form. They play an important role as communicators between the staff and the sixth form, and meet regularly with the headmaster and the head of sixth form to discuss issues important to them. The actual influence they wield varies from appointment to appointment. With the entrance of girls into the school from September 2002 a Head Boy and Head Girl are now appointed, sharing the title of Head of School. The process to become a Head of School is again through Staff nominations and an Interview with the Head of Discipline (Pastoral Deputy Head), the Head of 6th Form and the Assistant Head of 6th Form . The Heads of School are supported by four Deputies; two Deputy Head Boys and two Deputy Head Girls. They are also supported by Senior Prefects, the number of which varies from year to year. The Heads of School are members ex officio of both the 6th Form Council and the School Council, and attended both Leadership Group Meetings and Parents' Association meetings. They play an active role in all parts of school organisation including that of parents' evenings and other after school events. This has been aided by the acquisition of an office for the Heads of School in December 2005, the furnishing of which was provided by the site staff and the Parents' Association.

Music Society
The Liverpool Blue Coat is renowned as having one of the best music departments and societies in Merseyside. The school has several bands and groups, including an orchestra, concert band, choir and jazz band, which all take part in concerts held periodically throughout the school year. The orchestra is recognised as being one of the best school orchestras in Liverpool, and annually takes part in the Liverpool Music Festival as well as school concerts and occasions such as prize giving and founder's day. The concert band, incorporating players of all musical abilities, plays in all school concerts. The school choir takes part in all concerts and school occasions, and tours whenever possible, with past conquests including a tour of Venice in 2003 and, more recently, a tour of Prague and Vienna in the summer of 2005. The choir also toured northern Spain in Summer 2007. As part of the school's 300th birthday celebrations, the music department organised two concerts, one in St George's Hall and the other at the Philharmonic Hall, with all music groups, and many soloists performing. The music society continues to grow and remains amongst the best in Merseyside.


Heads of Subjects and Senior Management

Heads of Subjects
  • Art - Mrs Watson
  • Biology - Mr. Kenny
  • Business Studies and Economics - Mr. Jamieson
  • Chemistry - Mrs. J Beggs
  • Citizenship - Mrs. M Roberts
  • Design Technology - Mr. L Ainsworth
  • English - Mr. T Kershaw
  • French - Mrs. Jackson
  • Geography - Mr. J Lamb
  • History - Mr. M Pearson
  • I.T. - Mr. P Keating
  • Latin - Mr. P Watson
  • Maths - Miss K Wilson
  • Music - Mr. S Emery
  • P.E. - Mr. John Rees
  • Physics - Dr. P Wilde
  • Psychology - Miss. A Murphy
  • Politics - Mr Cox
  • R.S. - Mrs. H McDonnell
  • Spanish - Mrs G Irvine
  • Philosophy - Miss Moss

Senior Management
  • Mr. S Shipgood - Head of Key Stage 3
  • Mr. N Barends - Head of Key Stage 4
  • Ms L A Holland - Deputy Head of Sixth Form
  • Mrs. C MacKenzie - Head of Sixth Form
  • Mr. Cox - Deputy Head and Head of Pastoral Care
  • Mr. Pennington - Deputy Head
  • Mrs. Silcock - Head Teacher

Notable alumni
  • Mitch Benn, musician and comedian
  • Craig Curran, footballer
  • Evan Harris, former Member of Parliament
  • Jonathan Harvey, writer
  • Kevin Nolan, professional footballer
  • Andrew Norton, American politician
  • Stephen Parry, Olympic swimmer
  • Lord Rennard, Liberal Democrat chief executive
  • Richard Ansdell R A Noted artist of the 19th century
  • Ray Foulk, promoter, Isle of Wight Festival, 1968-70
  • Ronnie Foulk, promoter, Isle of Wight Festival, 1968-70
  • Bill Foulk, promoter, Isle of Wight Festival, 1968-70
  • Mathew Sloane, writer

Headteacher Start year End year The Reverend Robert Stythe, M.A. 1708 1713 Mr. William Trenton 1717 1723 Mr. Theophilus Price 1723 1725 Mr. Horton 1725 1775 The Reverend John Shakleton 1776 1779 Mr. John Smith 1779 1799 Mr. Robert Parkes 1800 Mr. George Chambers 1801 1811 Mr. John Fallows 1812 1816 Mr. R. W. Bamford 1817 1819 Mr. William Forster 1820 1848 Mr. Thomas Wood, B.A. 1849 1862 Mr. Thomas Haughton 1863 1867 Mr. George Tinker 1868 1869 Mr. Thomas Haughton 1870 1888 Mr. Arthur Mercer 1889 1920 Mr. Harry C. Hughes 1920 1926 The Reverend R. Bruce Wilson, B.A. 1927 1944 The Reverend T.C. Heritage, M.A. 1944 1945 Mr. G. G. Watcyn, B.A. 1945 1968 Mr. H. P. Arnold-Craft J.P., M.A.( Oxon) 1968 1989 Mr. John C. Speller B.A., M.A.(Ed), FRSA 1989 1997 Mr. Michael R. Bell B.A.(Hons) F.I.Mgt. 1997 2001 Mr. Michael George 'Sandy' Tittershill CertEd. NPQH 2001 2008 Mrs. Debbie Silcock B.Sc PGCE NPQH 2008


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