Cowley International College

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Cowley International College
Cowley Language College - - 1186661.jpg
Motto Non sibi sed omnibus
Established 1716
Type Community comprehensive school; formerly a Grammar School
Headteacher Mr Cameron Sheeran[1]
Chair John Clegg[1]
Founder Sarah Cowley
Location Hard Lane
St. Helens
WA10 6LB
53°27′53″N 2°45′22″W / 53.464646°N 2.756110°W / 53.464646; -2.756110Coordinates: 53°27′53″N 2°45′22″W / 53.464646°N 2.756110°W / 53.464646; -2.756110
Local authority St. Helens
DfE number 342/4101
DfE URN 104829 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1590[1]
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Former Pupils Old Cowleans
Website CLC

Cowley International College, formerly Cowley Language College and originally Cowley School, is an 11-18 secondary school located on Cowley Hill, in Windle, St Helens, Merseyside. Since its foundation in 1716 the School has provided an education for future Fellows of the Royal Society, Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians, a World War I flying ace, a war hero of the Falklands War, artists, academics, an England Rugby Captain and one of the few England rugby players to represent his country at both Rugby League and Rugby Union.


It is an oversubscribed school. It is situated north of Windlehurst and Denton's Green in the north-west of the town, between the A570 and A580 (to the north). The Pilkington glassworks are about a half-mile to the east.


Grammar school[edit]

A former part of the school was on Cowley Hill Lane. There were two grammar schools, the Cowley Girls' Secondary Grammar School (also known as the Cowley Girls' School) with around 650 girls, and Cowley Boys' Secondary Grammar School (also known as Cowley School) with around 550 boys. In 1965, the St Helens Education Committee council introduced proposals for comprehensive education.

The changing rooms at the boys' school, and the gym at the girls' school were used as locations for the film Chariots of Fire (1981).

In 2011, Cowley Language College featured extensively in the low-budget feature film, "Broken Spirits" which was entirely produced on location in St Helens, by media staff and students from the Sixth Form. Written by Film Studies teacher Geoff Harrison and co directed by students Angus Leith and John Quigley, Broken Spirits received its world premiere in January 2012 at Cineworld, St. Helens.


The comprehensive plans took effect in September 1970 with each school becoming a 13-18 single sex comprehensive school - the Cowley Boys' School and Cowley Girls' School which soon became 11-18 schools in 1974 with around 700 at each school. For a short time from 1976-8, these schools were the Cowley High School for Boys and the Cowley High School for Girls. By 1978 it had become the Cowley High School with around 1,400 boys and girls.

In 2001, it gained Language College specialist status and changed its name. In the summer of 2010 the school changed its name once again to Cowley International College.

New building[edit]

The school has recently been subject to a £20 million redevelopment, with a new building for the 11-16 site opened in October 2009 by Ed Balls, Head of Education. The previous site is currently being redeveloped into a state-of-the-art Sixth Form which opened to students in September 2010.

Academic results[edit]

The school achieves GCSE results slightly under the England average. At A-level it achieves the third highest in St Helens LEA, after Carmel College (a high-achieving sixth form college) and Rainford High Technology College.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Cowley School (Grammar, High and College)[edit]

Notable masters[edit]


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External links[edit]