Merchant Taylors' Girls' School
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Motto||Concordia Parvae Res Crescunt. (Small things grow in harmony)|
|Type||selective girls' independent|
|Website||Merchant Taylors' Girls' School|
||This article reads like an editorial or opinion piece. (November 2011)|
Merchant Taylors' Girls' School was established in 1888, having inherited the buildings from the boys' school that had moved less than a mile away in 1874. The then governing body was dilatory in providing for the 'new' school and it was due to the insistence of James Fenning, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, that the girls' school was started. At the School's opening all of the female staff were graduates; an impressive feat considering that at the time only four universities granted degrees to women. In June 1888 twelve pupils attended the school, by the 1920s it had grown to 300 and now, in 2014, the figure has almost doubled. The continuing increase in pupil numbers enabled the purchase in 1911 of the adjoining house, 'The Mulberries' which doubled the existing space and still adds to the charm of the school. The jewel of the buildings, the now grade II listed 1620's building (currently housing the library), has always dominated the surrounding area and new buildings. Two generous donations from a former headmistress ensured further development of facilities forming the basis of the network of buildings. The early prefect system was replaced in 1972 with the more democratic system of Sixth Form committees still in place today. In 2008, the House System was reintroduced and the four houses were renamed Minerva, Thalia, Gaia and Selene. The houses still compete in the same way they have always done since 1917 in points, academia, and sports.
Latin was taught at the school from the very beginning, as was mathematics, although if students chose to study higher mathematics they had to be chaperoned up to the boys' school. Early governors of the school insisted that the girls learnt traditional female pastimes alongside these more rigorous subjects, hence why sewing, cooking and singing all played their part on the curriculum. Sport has always flourished at the school and ranges from hockey to hill rambling, badminton to cross-country and rowing to self-defence.
As of 2013, it has 511 pupils, ranging in age from 11 to 18. The current headmistress is Mrs Louise Robinson. The school also has an associated prep school, Stanfield Mixed Infants and Junior Girls' School, which takes both boys aged 4–7 and girls aged 4 to 11. After attending the mixed infants school, the boys go on to the Junior section of Merchant Taylors' Boys' School, Crosby, less than a mile down the road.
The school is one of nine with links to the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, including boys' school Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood and Merchant Taylors' Boys' School, Crosby. The school's motto is that of the Worshipful Company: Concordia Parvae Res Crescunt. (Small things grow in harmony.)
The school is independently run and charges tuition fees (£3,373 per term). Fees were partially subsidised by the Government under the Assisted Places Scheme until the closure of that scheme in 2001. The Schools now run their own means tested Assisted Places Scheme under which about 20% of pupils benefit from free, or reduced-fee places. The schools offer around £1 million a year in bursaries. About 17 per cent of pupils at the two senior schools receive assistance, worth up to 100 per cent of the £10,119 annual fees.
Links with the local community have always been important. In 1911 the school adopted a 'waif' from the local children's home and formed a link which continued beyond the 1940s. A huge war effort was also undertaken during WW2, making camouflage netting, scrubbing floors at local hospitals and raising money for 'Warships Week'. Today's Sixth Formers continue this tradition by helping local schools, charity shops and nursing homes.
Merchant Taylors is partnered through the British Council's Connecting Classrooms Programme with Nelson Mandela High School, Sierra Leone. Since 2010, the schools have participated in exchange visits. The partnership has enabled Nelson Mandela High to become a 'Sustainable School'.
Notable former pupils
- Beryl Bainbridge, novelist, was expelled.
- Dame Janet Finch sociologist and Vice Chancellor of Keele University.
- Jane Garvey, BBC radio presenter.
- Eleanor Worthington Cox, actress.
- Kelly Cates, Television Presenter.
- Ann Robinson - Presenter and Broadcaster
- Adele Roberts - Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra DJ
- "Key Information". Merchant Taylors' Schools. 2013-09-01.
- "How to get the best education for less". Telegraph. 2013-10-19.
- "President Louise Robinson opens the Girls’ Schools Association Annual Conference, Liverpool 2012". GSA. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
- "Crosby pupils shine as schools toast league table success". Crosby Herald. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
- "Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School Sierra Leone Waterloo Schools Project". Echo-Schools England. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- "Report from trip to Sierra Leone". Merchant Taylors' Girls' School. Retrieved 13 February 2013.