Liverpool Blue Coat School
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2015)|
|Motto||Non Sibi Sed Omnibus
(Not for Oneself but for All)
|Headmaster||Mr. M.A. Pennington|
|Chaplain||Revd. Canon Janet Eastwood|
|Deputy Headmasters||Mr. S. Cox
Mr. N. Roberts
|Chair of Governors Provost||J.M. Shaw
|Founders||Bryan Blundell and Rev. Robert Styth|
|DfE URN||137916 Tables|
|Gender||Coeducational (since 2002)|
|Former pupils||Old Blues|
|School Song||Praise to the Lord, the Almighty|
|Website||Liverpool Blue Coat School|
The Liverpool Blue Coat School is a grammar school located in Wavertree, Liverpool, England. It is the only grammar school in the city and was founded in 1708 by Bryan Blundell and the Reverend Robert Stythe as 'The Liverpool Bluecoat Hospital'. The school was for many years a boys' boarding school but as of September 2002 it reverted to its original coeducational remit.
The Blue Coat School holds a long-standing academic tradition; examination results consistently place the school top of the local, and national GCSE and A-level league tables, with the school being ranked as the 7th best school in the country, based on GCSE results in 2013.
In 2004 the school received a government grant of almost £8 million, together with more than £1 million from the school's foundation governors, facilitating a major expansion and redevelopment of the school site.
- 1 History
- 2 Traditions
- 3 Clubs & societies
- 4 Uniform
- 5 The East Wing
- 6 House system
- 7 Prefect system
- 8 Music Society
- 9 Liverpool Blue Coat Brotherly Society
- 10 21st century redevelopment
- 11 Headmasters and Headmistress
- 12 Provosts
- 13 Heads of Subjects and Senior Management
- 14 Notable former pupils
- 15 References
- 16 External links
The school was founded in 1708 by Bryan Blundell and the Rev Robert Styth, a theology graduate of Brasenose College, Oxford 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. By the time of Blundell’s death in 1756 there were 70 boys and 30 girls at the school, many apprenticed to local trades, especially maritime ones connected to the port. Some Old Blues became mates or masters of their ships, many emigrating to the colonies. After Blundell’s death his sons further expanded the building to accommodate 200 pupils, with a new workroom, sick room, chapel and refectory. A reminder of the building’s school days is some graffiti dating from the 18th century, carved into cornerstones in a secluded part of the front courtyard.
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 and was later designated a Grade II* listed building. Later additions include a clock tower and the Fenwick Memorial Chapel: used for assemblies by the school.
At 7.00pm on 25 August 1958 a fire broke out at the school, on the roof of the North Front. Although 170 boarding pupils were in the building at the time, nobody was hurt during the fire, though the building sustained some water and smoke damage.
The school has a number of traditions that still survive. Notably the annual Founders' Day celebration, held on 23 April, includes a service with a special liturgy held in the school's Shirley Hall and in Liverpool Cathedral every four years. Founders' Day also consists of a number of speeches from the Headmaster, the Chaplain, the Head Boy and Head Girl and a guest speaker, that highlight the generosity of the founders. Prize Giving which is held at St George's Hall annually also includes a number of speeches from members of the school community. Both these events also see a number of the school's Year Seven students dress in the original bluecoat uniform and the teachers, Head Boy and Head Girl in their gowns and hoods, as is also the case at most school events including daily assemblies held in Shirley Hall and the Chapel. Both Founders' Day and Prize Giving culminate in the singing of the school hymn. Hymns form an important part of the traditional life of the school, with hymns from the school hymn book being sang in assemblies on a daily basis and the tradition of singing the hymn 'God Be with You, Till We Meet Again' in the school chapel at the end of every term. Other traditions still upheld in the school include a candlelit service of Nine Lessons and Carols in the School Chapel at Christmas as well as a more informal service for students which involves the hearty singing of the Twelve Days of Christmas! Other events in the school calendar include the 'Mystery Mile' which is a mile-long run around the field adjacent to the school nicknamed 'The Mystery' and the annual Service of Remembrance held in the Chapel.
The school preprandial grace, once in common use at mealtimes, now reserved for the more formal school occasions is as follows:
Clubs & societies
- Art Club - Mr. Cain
- Badminton Club - Mr. Caulkin
- Chess Club - Ms. Lunney
- Community Service - Mrs. MacKenzie
- Computer Club - Mr. Keating
- Craft Club - Mr. Ainsworth
- Creative Writing Club - Mrs. Ludlow
- Current Affairs, Politics and Economics Society - Babak Sharples, Liam Ritchie, Samuel Miley
- Dance Club - Amy Perrin
- Debating Society - James Dougherty
- Dramatics Society - Imogen Cooper
- Sixth Form Drama - Cassie White
- Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme - Mrs. Maskell
- Engineering Society - Daniel Harper, Catherine Abraham, Sam Russell, Chloe Swart, Catherine Butler
- Faith Explored - Mr. Pearson
- Football Team - Mr. Phelan
- Friendship Club
- German Society - Danielle Kroin
- Gym Club - Mr. Phelan
- Hockey Club - Ms. Adlington
- History Society- Ellie MacDonald
- Junior Debating Society - Megan Barron, Aleena Ashraf and Ayesha Ali
- Law Society - Jane Carney and Harry Davies
- Maths Games Club - Ellie Lewis
- Maths Society - Kenny Chen-Barraclough
- Medical Ethics - Jack Wang, and board of year group co-chairs.
- Music Society: Orchestra, Jazz Band, Concert Band and Choir - Mr. Emery and Miss Horton
- Philosophy Club - Ms. Murphy
- Physics Society - Phoebe Hunter
- Raspberry Pi Club - Mr Sands
- Social Services Committee - Gavin Spruin
- Squirrel Magazine - Mrs. O'Rourke
The school is also known for organising trips to Kenya every two years, where charitable sixth form pupils fundraise to help some of the poorest Kenyans in a month-long scheme during the summer holidays.
The school is known for its unique and highly recognised uniform, which consists of a white shirt/blouse, a grey pullover/cardigan, and a navy blue blazer with the school coat of arms over the breast pocket. Depending on which part of the school a pupil is in, they also wear the following:
For Years 7-11:
- Grey trousers/grey skirt;
- Grey socks/tights and black shoes;
- A royal blue tie with the school coat of arms embroidered on it; and
- Blue braiding around the lapels, and one blue band around each cuff, of their blazer.
For Years 12 and 13:
- Boys: grey/black trousers, grey/black socks and black shoes;
- Girls: blue skirt; blue socks/tights, and black shoes;
- Usually a royal blue tie; and
- Gold braiding around the lapels, and one gold band around each cuff, of their blazer.
If a member of Year 12 or Year 13 is a prefect, they may have one additional gold band around each cuff, as well as a prefect badge.
The school is also known for its wide variety of school ties, the most common of which is the royal blue tie with an embroidered school coat of arms (fig. 1). Sixth Form Prefects may wear a navy blue tie with alternating blue and gold stripes (fig. 2), and those who are in the first XI may wear the school sports tie, a navy blue tie with gold school coats of arms criss-crossing it (fig. 3). The Old Blues tie, a navy blue tie with alternating squirrels (the school's crest) and blue stripes, is worn by those pupils whose father was once a student at the school (and therefore members of the Old Blues Society)(Fig. 4). Other ties occasionally seen include a navy blue with two gold stripes (Fig. 5), and a navy blue tie with stripes in the four school form colours (awarded for being in the first XI for 3 separate sports teams)(Fig. 6).
The East Wing
The East Wing of the school comprises the clock tower, chapel, the former administration block and the former music rooms, plus a residential apartment. Thanks to a large investment by the school's charitable foundation the whole of the East Wing was fully refurbished as part of the school redevelopment. Notable improvements include:
- All four clock faces on the clock tower being replaced, and the clock mechanism repaired
- Extensive repairs to the roof and masonry work
- Redecoration and restoration of the chapel and its organ
- Restoration of the historic board room
- Installation of catering facilities for private functions
- The mothballing of the former headmaster's study and office areas for use as a future Year 13 study centre.
The facilities of the Foundation, including chapel, board room, reception areas and the Shirley Hall are all available for hire, including for weddings and religious services, as of July 2006.
The school currently has four houses, soon to be expanded to five in September 2015. Upon entrance in Year 7, pupils are allocated a form which they will be a member of throughout their time at The Blue Coat School. As well as the students, teachers at the school are often members of a house. There are approximately thirty students in a form and approximately 250 students per house. The houses are governed by a House Council which are composed of Heads of House, House Deputies, Form Captains and a member of staff. There are regular inter-house competitions, ranging from the inter-house hockey competition to inter-house debating competitions, in which the houses can gain house points which are then added to a running total and published in league tables, culminating in the annual inter-house league table. The current school houses and their respective Heads of House are as follows:
- Bingham - Liam Ritchie, Louisa Wanless
- Blundell - Joni Chan, Ellen Lundström
- Graham - Sam Miley, Catherine Abraham
- Shirley - Ryan Veryard, Hannah Blanchard
- Stythe - Ali El-Rhalibi, Cassie White
The newest house is Stythe which was founded in September 2015 to accommodate the 30 new additional first year students, and named after one of the founders Reverend Robert Stythe.
There are also a number of boarding houses that were discontinued when the school ceased to be a boarding school in the late 20th century. These included:
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
There are usually between 40-55 prefects appointed from the sixth form, representing about one sixth of the sixth form as a whole. Pupils in Years 12 and 13 are eligible to become prefects.
Prefects are charged with maintaining order in the corridors during break and lunchtimes, alongside members of the teaching staff. The prefects also play a significant role in other events, including the school entrance examination, prize giving ceremony, and Founders' Day service, and also assist with after-school Parents' Association events, such as discos, fairs and quizzes.
There are four ranks of prefect, appointed by staff nomination and interview:
- Senior Prefect
- Deputy Head of School
- Head of School
There are also prefects with responsibility for specific facilities, such as Library and IT provision, nominated by senior teaching staff from each specialism.
Since the readmittance of girls to the school in September 2002, a Head Boy and Head Girl have been appointed, sharing the title of Head of School. The Heads of School are supported two Deputy Head Boys and two Deputy Head Girls, and a team of Senior Prefects, and are members ex officio of the Sixth Form Council . The Heads of School also attend school Leadership Group meetings and Parents' Association meetings. They have their own office facilities, and play an active role in all parts of school organisation, including parents' evenings and other after-school events.
The Heads of School and their deputies also play a part in deciding school policy, especially with regard to the sixth form. Providing a formal communications channel between the teaching staff and the sixth form, they meet regularly with the headteacher and the head of sixth form to discuss issues important to their peers.
The school is noted for having an active and strong Music Department and Society, with musical activities including an orchestra, string group, brass group and woodwind group as well as a choir, jazz band, concert band, percussion group, and a junior choir. The school regularly hosts concerts throughout the year, including concerts at the Philharmonic Hall and also a service of Nine Lessons and Carols in the school chapel at Christmas time. The school choir and choral society which incorporates Old Blues and friends of the school as well as students, sing a major work each year, recently including Fauré's Requiem Mass and Orff's Carmina Burana. The choir frequently tours internationally, including to Venice in 2003, Prague and Vienna in 2005, Northern Spain in 2007, Leipzig in 2009, Venice in 2010 and Austria in 2014. The choir also occasionally performs alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, most recently the boys' choir sang in 2014 at a performance of Britten's Welcome Ode with the RLPO and Vasily Petrenko, to much critical acclaim.
Liverpool Blue Coat Brotherly Society
The Brotherly Society, founded in 1838 is the Blue Coat's Old Blues' Society. The group, made up of Old Blues, was set up to provide help, advice and in some cases financial assistance to students for at least two years after leaving the school. Since the Second World War there has been less need for such assistance so the Society has turned its efforts towards objects that would benefit the School in general.
The generosity of the Society can be found throughout the Blue Coat School’s history. In 1938, to celebrate the Society’s centenary, the Society provided the oak pews in the chapel. In 1963 the Society provided the stained glass south window of the Chapel to celebrate its 125th anniversary, and in 1952 the Old Blues’ Memorial Library was presented in remembrance of the Old Blues who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
The current president of the Brotherly Society is Mr. Keith Caulkin.
21st century redevelopment
In 2004, work commenced on a substantial redevelopment of the Wavertree site. The original buildings remained intact, but the southern wing of the school was converted into private accommodation and sold to part-fund the development. The school chapel, clock tower, board room, and former music room, together with administrative rooms and the formal entrance to the original building, were transferred to a new school foundation and made available to hire for weddings and other private functions.
A number of buildings that had been added to the northern side of the site during the second half of the 20th century - including the swimming pool, sixth form centre, sports hall and squash courts - were demolished to make way for new facilities. The North Wing of the original school was renovated, and a new building extended the wing into the area previously known as the North Yard. New facilities within this redevelopment included modern laboratories, a new school entrance and administration block, music rooms, a recording studio and dance studio, plus dining and sports halls.
The remainder of the former North Yard was upgraded to provide improved outdoor sports facilities.
The old dining hall, beneath Shirley Hall in the centre of the original building, was converted into a new library, with a mezzanine ICT suite. The previous library space, itself a former dormitory, was refurbished as a sixth form facility.
Nick Barends, the Deputy Head in 2010 was sacked in July that year over allegations of a sexual relationship with a sixth form student, but has since appealed the decision and was reinstated in September of the same year. Investigations found no 'evidence' of a sexual relationship.  
Headmasters and Headmistress
|Headmaster/Headmistress||Start year||End year|
|Rev Robert Styth, MA (Oxon)||1708||1713|
|Mr William Trenton||1717||1723|
|Mr Theophilus Price||1723||1725|
|Rev John Shakleton||1776||1779|
|Mr John Smith (Old Blue)||1779||1799|
|Mr Robert Parkes||1800||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, BA (Cantab)||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|
|Rev R. Bruce Wilson, BA (Oxon)||1927||1944|
|Rev T.C. Heritage, MA (Oxon)||1944||1945|
|Mr G.G. Watcyn, BA||1945||1968|
|Mr H.P. Arnold-Craft JP, MA (Oxon)||1968||1989|
|Mr John C. Speller BA, MA (Ed), FRSA||1989||1997|
|Mr Michael R. Bell BA (Hons) FIMgt||1997||2001|
|Mr Michael George 'Sandy' Tittershill CertEd. NPQH||2001||2008|
|Mrs Debbie Silcock BSc PGCE NPQH||2008||2015|
|Mr Michael Pennington BSc Hons PGCE NPQH||2015|
|Provost||Start year||End year|
|Rev. Robert Stythe, M.A.||1709||1713|
|The Rt. Hon. Bryan Blundell||1713||1756|
|The Rt. Hon. Clayton Tarleton||1797||1798|
|James Gerrard, M.D.||1800||1802|
|The Rt. Hon. Henry Blundell-Hollinshead||1815||1817|
|Rev. William Blundell B.A.||1818||1819|
|The Rt. Hon. James Aspinall||1835||1838|
|Edward Guy Deane||1854||1857|
|John Ernest Tinne||1885||1926|
|John J. Verdin-Cooke||1928||1932|
|John A. Tinne||1932||1933|
|Sir Alan Todd, C.B.E., L.L.D.||1955||1968|
|J. Malcolm Harrison||1968||1976|
|T.I.F. Tod, F.C.A.||1976||1991|
|Peter Healey, J.P., B.A.||1991||2006|
|Rodney V. McDermott||2006||2007|
|Gerard A. Jolliffe||2007||2014|
|Stephen W. Elliott||2014|
Heads of Subjects and Senior Management
Heads of Subjects
- Art - Mrs S. Watson
- Biology - Mr Kenny
- Business Studies and Economics - Mr Watkins
- Chemistry - Mrs J. Beggs
- Citizenship - Mrs M. Roberts
- Design Technology - Mr L. Ainsworth
- Economics - Mr M. Watkins
- English - Mr T. Kershaw
- Modern Foreign Languages - Mrs C. Jackson
- Geography - Mr J. Lamb
- History - Mr M. Pearson
- Information Technology and Computing - Mr P. Keating
- Latin - Dr D. Lawell
- Librarian - Mr. D Newton
- Maths - Miss K. Wilson
- Director of Music - Mr S. Emery
- Philosophy - Mrs Forster
- Physical Education - Mr J. Dowling
- Physics - Dr P. Wilde
- Politics - Mr N. Croxton
- Psychology - Miss A. Murphy
- Religious Studies - Mrs H. McDonnell
- General Studies - Mr S. Frost
- S. Shipgood - Head of Key Stage 3
- N. Barends - Head of Key Stage 4
- L.A. Holland - Deputy Head of Sixth Form
- C. Mackenzie - Head of Sixth Form
- A. Hughes - Bursar
- S.R. Cox - Deputy Headmaster and Head of Pastoral Care
- N. Roberts - Deputy Headmaster and Head of Teaching & Development
- M.A. Pennington - Headmaster
Notable former pupils
- Richard Ansdell, noted oil painter and engraver
- Mitch Benn, musician and comedian
- Stephen Broadbent, sculptor
- Daniel Brown, Designer of the Year 2004
- Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco between 2011-2014
- Craig Curran, Footballer currently playing for Ross County F.C.
- Stuart Ford founder and CEO of IM Global
- Professor Tom Greggs, professor of systematic theology and the youngest recipient of a professorship in the UK
- Jonathan Harvey, playwright
- The Rt. Hon. Evan Harris, former Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon between 1997-2010
- Brian R. Knowles, acclaimed choral composer
- Alfred Lennon, father of Beatle John Lennon, musician
- Alan McGuinness, Choirmaster at St Asaph Cathedral and chair of the Royal School of Church Music in Wales
- Kevin Nolan, footballer (Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham)
- Stephen Parry, Olympic swimmer
- Samuel George Pearse VC, MM, Posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Baron Christopher Rennard, former Liberal Democrat chief executive
- Thomas Ripley, founder of Ripley Hospital School, itself modelled on Blue Coat
- Paul Roderick, head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders professional soccer team
- Neil Sang (Licensed Football Agent, Radio pundit and former professional footballer)
- James Serafinowicz, writer and director- starred in Look Around You wearing the uniform of the Blue Coat School
- Andrew Norton, Chairman of the US Pirate Party
- Colin Vearncombe, musician (aka Black)
Notable people associated with the school
- David Alton, Baron Alton of Liverpool, ex-Member of Parliament, was a trustee of the school, and has a quad named in his honour.
- the Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell family, descendants of Bryan Blundell, the founder, many have been trustees at the school. The family have gone on to produce notable military men and members of the Austrian royal family.
- David Houlder, former sub-organist at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and former organist at York Minster. Houlder was the school's Director of Music between 1981 and 1999.
- W. H. Jude, composer and organist. Jude was the school's organist in the late 19th century.
- The Rt. Hon. Norman Pannell finance manager, politician and conservative MP. Pannell was a governor of the school.
- "Welcome to the Liverpool Blue Coat School". Liverpool Blue Coat School. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- Salmon, Tony (2007). "Save the Liverpool Blue Coat School". www.savethebluecoat.webeden.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- "Stermont-Synge". British History Online. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "A brief history of the school". The Liverpool Blue Coat School. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- "Bluecoat Heritage" (PDF). Bluecoat Chambers. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Pollard, Pevsner, Joseph, Richard, Nikolaus, Sharples (2006). Lancashire: Liverpool and the southwest. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
- "The Port of Liverpool Building". www.liverpoolworldheritage.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- "The Liverpool Blue Coat School General information". Schools Net. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- "School magagazine article". 1985.
- "Clubs & Societies". The Liverpool Blue Coat School. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- "Boarding House Rules (1969)". Liverpool Old Blues. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "Brotherly Society". The Blue Coat School. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- Official school 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
- Historic England. "School (213906)". Images of England.
- Historic England. "Chapel (213907)". Images of England.