Liverpool Blue Coat School

Liverpool Blue Coat School

Infobox UK school
name = Liverpool Blue Coat School

size = 200px
latitude = 53.393
longitude = -2.916
dms =
motto = "Non Sibi Sed Omnibus"
(Not for oneself but for all)
motto_pl =
established = 1708
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = foundation, grammar
religion = None
president =
head_label =
head = Mrs Debbie Silcock
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label =
chair =
founder = Bryan Blundell and Rev. Robert Styth
founder_pl = yes
specialist = Science and Mathematics
specialist_pl =
street = Church Road
city = Wavertree
county = Liverpool
country = England flagicon|England
postcode = L15 9EE
LEA = Liverpool
ofsted = 104704
staff =
enrollment = 915
gender = Mixed (since 2002)
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses = color box|yellow Bingham
color box|blue Blundell
color box|green Graham
color box|red Shirley
colours =
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
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website =
website_name =

The Liverpool Blue Coat School in Wavertree, Liverpool, England, 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. It was described as 'spectacular' by Nikolaus Pevsner and later designated a Grade II* listed building. Later additions include the clock tower and domed chapel.

After the school received a Government grant of almost £8 million,when together with more than £1 million from the School's Foundation Governors, the site was expanded and redeveloped.

The first stage of the redevelopment involved demolishing the ageing 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.

Originally a Charity School founded on Christian principles, the school now is open to all, whilst maintaining a strong Christian ethos. Each day commences with a traditional assembly which includes readings ( often from the bible ), music, a hymn and prayers.

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.

Scenes for the Channel 4 programme Hollyoaks have been filmed inside.

The school is divided into four houses: Shirley (red), Blundell (blue), Bingham (yellow) and Graham (green).

The former location of the Blue Coat school, now the oldest arts centre in the worldFact|date=April 2007, is under consideration for National Heritage status after plans were revealed to sell fast burgers outside of the premises. Work on converting the East Wing into modern apartments is now complete.

Church of England status

The Department for Education and Skills is currently considering the school's legal status, after it received 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 which teaches Anglican doctrines automatically receives Church of England status, so that 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 will be celebrating its 300th birthday in 2008, making it the longest educating school in Liverpool. Many rapturous celebrations are planned, 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 a flood-lit 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.

Prefect system

The Blue Coat School prides itself upon its Prefect model. 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:

*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.fact|date=May 2008 The school has several bands and groups, including an orchestra, concert band, choir, string band 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,fact|date=May 2008 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, aimed mainly at younger members of the school although 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. Smaller groups include the string band and the jazz band. The music society continues to grow and remains amongst the best in Merseyside.

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.
*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 headmasters 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.

Notable alumni

* Mitch Benn, musician and comedian
* Craig Curran, footballer
* Evan Harris, Member of Parliament
* Jonathan Harvey, writer
* Kevin Nolan, professional footballer
* Stephen Parry, Olympic swimmer
* Dr John Daley, Psychologist and Applied Chemist. Currently teaches Chemistry at the University of Strahclyde
* Lord Rennard, Liberal Democrat chief executive
* Daniel Brown, Designer of the Year 2004
* Keith Knowles, founder of Guiness World Record holding choir at St. Francis Xavier's College
* Richard Downey, Publisher of Viz, Inside Poker and [ Monkey]


* 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)
* 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 - )

External links

* [ Official School website]
* [ Student Community website]
* [ BBC Education League Tables listing]
* [ Ofsted inspection report (June 2004)]
* [ Extract from "Discovering Historic Wavertree]
* [ Blue Coat Arts Centre]
* [ South Wing Apartments Development]
* [ Leavers Ball 2006 Pictures]
*IoE|213906|- school
*IoE|213907|- chapel

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