Prescot School

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Prescot School
Prescot School (coat of arms).jpg
Knowsley Park Lane

, ,
L34 3NB

Coordinates53°25′52″N 2°48′41″W / 53.431222°N 2.811461°W / 53.431222; -2.811461Coordinates: 53°25′52″N 2°48′41″W / 53.431222°N 2.811461°W / 53.431222; -2.811461
MottoFuturam civitatem inquirimus Latin
We are seeking a future state
FounderGilbert Lathum
Local authorityKnowsley
Department for Education URN104487 Tables
HeadteacherExecutive Principal : Mr J Jardine and a Head of School: Mrs A Kennedy
Age11 to 16
Colour(s)Blue and Black          

Prescot School is a co-educational comprehensive school in Prescot, Merseyside, England. It was previously called Prescot Grammar School. It was announced in late 2015 by the headteacher, Judy Walker, that the historic name and the link to the school's near-half century of tradition (which had been deprecated between 2009-2015 by the local authority) was being restored as a consequence of a successful application by the school for academy status. The official opening of the reformed school was on the 28th of April.

The main historical source is local historian F. A. Bailey's 40 page pamphlet published to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the school in 1944 and reissued in 1971 under the title PGS 1544 - 1971 with postscripts by G. Dixon and the then headmaster, J. C. S. Weekes.



The school was founded in 1544 by Gilbert Lathum, a local clergyman (later Archdeacon of Man) who left £140 in his will to fund a schoolmaster (at a stipend of £7 per year) to run a free grammar school.

The school was first based in Church Street, opposite the Prescot Parish Church of St. Mary's. It then moved in 1760 to a site in High Street, where it remained until 1924. The next move was to the spacious site on St. Helens Road, accommodated in newly built wooden buildings which were originally intended to be temporary, but were expanded and augmented in the 1960s by a brick-built assembly hall ("Spencer Briggs Hall"), classrooms and purpose-built metalwork and woodwork workshops, and remained in use until 1978 when they fell victim to an arson attack by a disturbed former pupil.

Famous headteachers include C. W. H. Richardson, who ensured its survival during difficult times in the 1920s and 1930s, and R. Spencer Briggs from 1937 to 1963.

Geoffrey Dixon was a stalwart of the 20th century and taught at the school for 42 years from 1927 to 1969, reaching the position of deputy headmaster.

By 1944, when the Butler Education Act brought the school into the free national system, the school was in fact charging tuition fees. At this point, entry criteria passed from the ability to pay to the ability to pass the 11+ exam.

From the 1930s to the 1960s the school expanded under the leadership of headmaster R. Spencer Briggs to a peak of 650 boys. Briggs modelled his school superficially on the British public school model, with a 'house' system, prefects, school uniform, a heavy emphasis on games (particularly football and cricket), and indeed corporal punishment. There was also rich extracurricular activity: debating, amateur dramatics, choral and instrumental music, and a plethora of school societies. During this period the school applied for and was granted its coat of arms. The Latin motto "Futuram civitatem inquirimus" translates as "Seeking society's future". In other words: "Looking forward".

Becoming comprehensive and co-educational (merger with the Girls' Grammar)[edit]

In 1975, it became part of the newly formed Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, and joined with Prescot Grammar School for Girls (founded 1955) to become Prescot School. The school moved to the girls' school site as a result of two arson incidents at the Boys' School site in St.Helens Road. The extensive playing fields of the boys' school in St Helens Road were sold off and are now covered by a housing development.

In 2000 Prescot School gained specialist status as a Language College.

The Prescotian[edit]

In 2000, the Prescotian webzine was set up to enable former pupils to keep in contact and establish an informal archive of photographs and articles, see below for link.

Merger with Higher Side[edit]

With funding from the Labour government's Building Schools for the Future initiative, the school was rebuilt, In September 2009 it merged with Higher Side School in Whiston to become officially named "Knowsley Park Centre for Learning, Serving Prescot, Whiston and the Wider Community" in 2009, listing as a compromise all the schools and communities merged into it.[1] The name lasted seven years before its headmistress, who called the name "so embarrassing"[2] cut it to simply "Prescot School" in 2016.[3][4][5][6]

Notable alumni[edit]

Prescot Grammar School (both schools)[edit]


  1. ^ Turner, Ben. "Knowsley school to have one of "longest names in the world"". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  2. ^ Boffey, Daniel. "Can a new drive change the fortunes of schools in one of Britain's most deprived areas?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  3. ^ Cobain, Ian. "The making of an education catastrophe – schools in Knowsley were dubbed 'wacky warehouses'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Lessons to be learned from Knowsley's schools (letters)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  5. ^ {see}
  6. ^ "Building schools for the future - schools involved". Retrieved 2007-03-05.

External links[edit]