Arnold School

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Arnold School
Motto Honor Virtutis Praemium
("Honour is the reward of virtue")
Established 1896
Closed 2013

Independent school

Public school
Headteacher J. Keefe
Founder F. T. Pennington
Location Lytham Road
53°47′22″N 3°02′49″W / 53.78946°N 3.04687°W / 53.78946; -3.04687Coordinates: 53°47′22″N 3°02′49″W / 53.78946°N 3.04687°W / 53.78946; -3.04687
Local authority Blackpool
DfE URN 119839
Gender Coeducational
Ages 2–18
  • Howarths
  • Listons
  • Penningtons
  • School
Colours Arnold Green, White
Former pupils Old Arnoldians

Arnold School was an independent school in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, established on the Fylde coast in 1896 during the Victorian expansion of public boarding schools in England.

The school was in the United Church Schools Trust group of schools and was a long-standing member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. In 2013, Arnold School merged with King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in Lytham St Annes to form Arnold KEQMS at the Lytham St Annes site.

Some distinguished Old Arnoldians include William Lyons, James (Jimmy) Armfield, Jenna Coleman, Chris Lowe and Jonas Armstrong


Arnold School was founded by Frank Truswell Pennington on 4 May 1896. Known initially as South Shore Collegiate School, the school moved to its present site in Lytham Road when Pennington took over and gradually expanded the buildings of an earlier Victorian Public School. He then adopted the former school's name of Arnold House School, named after Dr Thomas Arnold, Headmaster of Rugby School. The name was later shortened to Arnold School. The school was founded on Christian principles and a tradition of service.[1] Following Pennington's death, the school enlarged as a Direct Grant boys' grammar school, flanked by a sister Arnold High School for Girls. The abolition of the Direct Grant system placed Arnold School back into independence, and in 1938 the school was then given to the Old Boys, who elected a Governing Council. The step towards co-education was taken during the leadership of Cameron Cochrane in 1973 -1978. Richard Rhodes, then deputy head, afterwards became the Head master, before leaving and becoming headteacher at Rossall School.[2] Arnold merged with King Edward VII and Queen Mary School (KEQMS) in 2013.

Coat of arms[edit]

The school was granted a new Coat of Arms in 1999. The shield bears three red roses of Lancashire on a silver field between wedges of Arnold green. The crest is a red rose between two laurel leaves (for scholarship), standing on silver and blue waves (for Blackpool).[1]

Expansion and development[edit]

The Victorian school saw significant developments in the mid-20th century and the early 21st century. Some developments include the completion of a new Sixth Form Centre and Preparatory School in 1972; the Art and Music departments in 1981; the Design Centre in 1990; the all-weather playing field in 1993; the Kindergarten in 1995; the Information Technology Centres in 1997; the Modern Languages Faculty in 1997; the Centenary Complex in 1998; the opening of the Windmill Charities Room in 2003.[1]

On 1 June 2008 Arnold School joined the United Church Schools Trust. There followed an immediate investment in the infrastructure of the school, and the installation of the latest technologies available. Major refurbishments of the Sixth Form Centre, Fifth Form Lounge, and Dining Room were also undertaken.

Amalgamation with KEQMS[edit]

In September 2011 Arnold announced that it would be merging with King Edward VII & Queen Mary School (KEQMS) in September 2012. The new school would be called Arnold KEQMS or, for short, "AKS". A KEQMS parent group opposed to the merger submitted objections to the Charity Commission which prompted a review prior to allowing the merger to proceed. The Charity Commission completed their report and announced on 11 November 2011 that they had approved the new scheme. The KEQMS parent group immediately announced their intention to appeal against the Charity Commission decision. The appeal was lodged with HM Courts and Tribunal Service – First Tier Tribunal on Friday 9 December 2011. The appeal was heard on 11 and 12 April 2012[3][4] and a decision was released by the tribunal on 17 May 2012 stating that the merger can proceed however the lease granted to UCST does not adequately protect the assets of the Lytham Schools and will therefore need to be re-written.[5] The parents group subsequently announced that they would not be appealing this decision and the merger went ahead successfully over the course of 2013.[6] UCST committed to a substantial expenditure in excess of £6 million, in order to upgrade the infrastructure at the Lytham site so as to accommodate the expanded school.


  • 1896–1932 F. T. Pennington
  • 1932–1933 H. C. Cooksey MA.
  • 1933–1938 F. T. Pennington.
  • 1938–1966 F. W. Holdgate MA.
  • 1966–1973 O. C. Wigmore MA.
  • 1973–1979 A. J. C. Cochrane MA.
  • 1979–1987 R. D. W. Rhodes JP., BA. (Later headmaster of Rossall School)
  • 1987–1993 J. A. B Kelsall MA.
  • 1993–2003 W. T. Gillen MA. (Previously headmaster at The King's School, Tynemouth)
  • 2003–2010 B. M. Hughes BSc.
  • 2010-2013 J. E. Keefe BA.

Notable Old Arnoldians[edit]

Public Life/Commerce

Further reading[edit]

  • Holdgate, Martin (2009). Arnold: the story of a Blackpool school. Hayloft Publishing. ISBN 978-1-90452-463-2. 
  • Shenton, Kenneth (1989). The History of Arnold School Blackpool. Carnegie P. ISBN 978-0948789427. 


  1. ^ a b c "AKS, Introduction & History of the School" (PDF). August 2014. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Arnold School". Hayloft Publishing Ltd. 
  3. ^ "Our appeal has been submitted". An Independent Future. Retrieved 28 December 2011. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "School fight appeal". Lytham St. Annes Express. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tribunal Decision" (PDF). HM Courts & Tribunals Service. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Campaign Announcement". An Independent Future. Retrieved 29 May 2012. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Christian Day". Northampton Saints. 
  8. ^ Cryer, Anna (23 March 2018). "Corrie star to sleep on Blackpool streets". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 12 April 2018. 

External links[edit]