Cowley International College
|Motto||Non sibi sed omnibus|
|Type||Community comprehensive school; formerly a Grammar School|
|Headteacher||Mr Cameron Sheeran|
|Local authority||St. Helens|
|DfE URN||104829 Tables|
|Former Pupils||Old Cowleans|
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.
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.
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.
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
Cowley School (Grammar, High and College)
- Ralph William Bardill RCA (1876-1935), watercolour artist, exhibitor at the Royal Academy
- Professor Ernest Brown (1878-1949), Emeritus Professor of Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics at McGill University
- Sir Hugh Stott Taylor KBE FRS (1890-1974), Professor of Chemistry, Princeton University
- Walter H. Longton DFC (Two Bars) AFC (1892-1927), World War I flying ace
- Herbert Holt (1894-1978), portrait painter
- George Groves (1901-1976), sound engineer, important in the early use of sound in films - he recorded the sound of The Jazz Singer, and later won three Academy Awards
- Winifred Frost (1902-1979), freshwater biologist
- Sir Harold Macdonald Steward (1904-1977), consulting engineer and Conservative Party politician
- Arthur Coulton Hartley CIE OBE (1906-1994), senior civil servant in India
- John Else MBE TD (1911-1996), Regional Chairman of Industrial Tribunals, Eastern Region (1980–84)
- Jack Heaton (1912–1998), England rugby international and captain
- Robert Dorning (1913-1989), actor, musician
- Roger Johnson Fenney CBE (1916-2016). Chairman of the Special Trustees at Charing Cross Hospital (1980–88)
- James Leicester (1915-1996), Director from 1961-71 of the Northern Polytechnic (now part of the University of North London)
- Gerry Pickavance CBE FRS (1915-1991), Director from 1957-69 of the Rutherford High Energy Lab and expert on particle accelerators
- Leslie Shield TD DL (1916-2008), Recorder of the Crown Court (1980–91) and Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside
- Norman Cook CBE (1920-1995), Editor from 1978-79 of the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo
- Norman Rigby (1920-1996), Chairman from 1964-68 of Nabisco Ltd.
- Professor Theo Barker (1923-2001), Professor of Economic History from 1976-83 at the LSE, and of Economic and Social History from 1964-76 at the University of Kent
- Max Eden (born 1923), artist
- Professor John Harris (1923-1997), Professor of Economic History at Birmingham University
- Geoff Duke OBE (born 1923), racing motorcyclist during the 1950s
- Dr TW Merrick (1924–86), Senior Medical Officer at the Department of Health and Social Security
- Milton Grundy (born 1926), barrister and author on international taxation
- Andrew Thomas Wilson CMG (1926-2011), agriculturalist and natural resource adviser to the Rockefeller Foundation (1987–98)
- William Sephton Hill MA (Cantab) (1926-1993), Development Director of the International Duty Free Confederation in Brussels
- James Geoffrey Ashcroft CB (1928-2000), Deputy Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence (1985–88)
- Henry Savage FRCP (1928-2012), consultant physician
- Rear-Admiral Frank Bowen (1930-1995), Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy (1982–84)
- Alan Royle Atherton CB (born 1931), senior civil servant and company director
- Dr Kenneth Moses CBE (1931-1992), former Joint Deputy Chairman of the British Coal Board
- Edmund Stephen Garnett FRCP (1933-1994), pioneer in nuclear medicine
- Garth Barton Robinson (1934-1999), biochemist. Lecturer at Birmingham University (1964–65) and the Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University (1965–96). Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford (1969–96)
- Ray French MBE (born 1939), played rugby for England in both Rugby League and Rugby Union. BBC rugby league commentator
- Margaret Chapman (1940-2000), artist and illustrator, from the Northern School. Exhibitor at the Royal Academy
- John Robinson (born 1943), notable town planner
- Geoff Pimblett (born 1944), played for St Helens RLFC between 1971 and 1979 and played rugby league for England in 1978
- His Honour Judge Leslie David Hull (born 1950), a Circuit Judge since 2001
- John Horton (born 1951), played rugby union for St Helens, Sale, Bath, Bristol and fly-half for England between 1978 and 1984
- Dame Judith Kilpatrick (1952-2002), headteacher
- Professor Lorraine Culley (born 1952), Emeritus Professor of Social Science and Health at De Montfort University 
- Kathryn Tunstall (born 1953), Strategic Director for Services to Children and Young People, Bradford Metropolitan District Council (2007–13)
- Squadron leader Jeffrey William Glover (born 1954), recipient of the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, captured by the Argentinians at the Skirmish at Many Branch Point
- Professor John Fairclough (born 1954), esteemed knee surgeon and Professor of Sports Medicine at Cardiff Metropolitan University
- Andrew Wilson (born 1959), gardening author and landscape designer
- David Fillingham CBE (born 1960), Director from 2001–04 of the NHS Modernisation Agency
- Gary Stretch (born 1965), a former British Light middleweight boxing title holder, model and actor
- Professor Paul Monks (born 1967), Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Earth Observation Science at the University of Leicester (2007-)
- Tim Jonkers (born 1981), is an ex-professional rugby league footballer
- James Roby (born 1985), St Helens R.F.C. player
- Adam Swift (born 1993), St Helens R.F.C. player attended both the school and the college
- Leonard Brockington CMG QC LLD (1888-1966), Classics and English Master at the School, emigrated to Canada in 1912 and became a Canadian lawyer, civil servant and the first head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
- Isaac Shapiro (1904-2004), lecturer in English at Birmingham University
- Watcyn Thomas (1906–77) was a Welsh rugby union player who captained Wales in the early 1930s
- Roland Mathias (1915-2007), poet
- Viv Harrison (1921-1989), was a Welsh teacher, rugby union and professional rugby league footballer of the 1940s, and 1950s, playing club level rugby union (RU) for Chingford RFC, and London Welsh RFC, as a Wing, or Centre, and playing representative level rugby league (RL) for Wales and at club level for St. Helens
- Derek Norcross OBE DL (1930-2006), later headmaster of St Paul's Church of England School (East Sussex), Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex
- Ray French MBE (born 1939), BBC rugby league commentator, also taught at the school
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