St Anselm's College
|Motto||Faith seeking understanding.
|Headmaster||R S Duggan|
|DfE URN||136780 Tables|
St Anselm's College is a Roman Catholic grammar school with academy status located in Merseyside, England. It is one of four Catholic secondary schools in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, and one of three Irish Christian Brothers schools in the Merseyside area. The school is located within the Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury.
Founded in 1933, the school was in recent years granted Technology College and then Academy status, in cooperation with Upton Hall School, the local Catholic girls' school. The school used its specialist school status as an opportunity to improve some teaching facilities and broaden aspects of the curriculum.
The school was founded in 1933 by the trustees of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, at the invitation of Hugh Singleton, Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury. In 1946 it became a direct grant grammar school and continued as such until 1975, when the trustees opted for the school to be independent in order to continue as a single-sex
The Education Act 1993 gave the trustees the chance to re-enter the maintained sector and so, once again, offer parents the choice of a Catholic Grammar School education for their sons, irrespective of their ability to pay. In 1995, the school became one of the first Independent schools to re-enter the maintained sector. The prep department retained its independent status and is now known as Redcourt St Anselm's. The two schools still maintain links and Redcourt is one of the College's main feeder schools.
Specialist School Status
After two unsuccessful applications, the school finally achieved joint Technology College status together with Upton Hall School, another local Catholic grammar, as part of the UK Specialist schools initiative. The school had, at the time, been unable to apply for specialist Language College status because, Wirral Grammar School for Girls, another school in the Wirral LEA had already applied for this as a first specialism.
Upon achieving the status the school further developed its programme for A-level and GCSE in ICT, installed a wireless computer network in many areas of the school, increased the number of computer workstations available to students for academic work, and also made an email service and extranet available to all students and staff.
In 2006 the joint Technology College designation expired, and the school announced its intention to make an application, independently from Upton Hall School to renew its status. The school also announced, because of the success of the programme, its intention to apply for a second specialism in Languages. Both applications were successful.
In 2009 the college was invited to take up a third designation as a Leadership Partner School.
The school converted to academy status on 1 June 2011.
Links with the church
The teaching staff at this and other Christian Brothers schools have traditionally been avowed Christian Brothers, but over the decades, the responsibility for this provision has been passed down to what is now a full-time lay teaching staff of 44, maintaining strong links with the Edmund Rice Family and with the guidance of the Diocese of Shrewsbury.
Ethos and mission
Education at the school is, at its core, Roman Catholic, and inspired by the work of Blessed Edmund Rice. It is fundamentally based on the Eight Essentials of Christian Brothers Education, and the religious studies programme at the school follows that prescribed by the Diocese of Shrewsbury.
The study of the history and ethos of the college forms a part of the Religious Studies programme at Key Stage 3, and is a common focus for the weekly assemblies. (The Christian Brothers resident in the house that adjoins the college ensure that Sixth Form students are kept well informed about the ethos of the college by an annual programme of discourse which complements the PSHE programme.
Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033 or 1034 – 21 April 1109).
The college has a reputation for sporting achievement far outstripping its size. Notable sporting achievements include winning the National Schools Cross Country Championship at Intermediate Level and winning the Northerns Schools Championship countless times, regularly attending the National Schools Athletics Final and travelling the country competing in various rugby union competitions.
The College had traditionally been affiliated with Redcourt - St Anselm's, a local independent primary school, and although now independent from the secondary school, both schools are part of the Edmund Rice Family, and share sports facilities in Noctorum.
The joint-technology college status of the school with Upton Hall School until Autumn 2006 gave rise to increased cooperation between the two Catholic grammar schools on the Wirral Peninsula. This has particularly seen fruit in the sixth form, where students have the opportunity to take certain subjects offered at either school. A minibus is used to transport the students across the 3 miles between the two schools. Other joint activities include language talks and spiritual activities. There has been talk among the members of the sixth at both schools about whether this may lead to the development of co-education in the sixth forms at the schools, as has been the case at the neighbouring Weatherhead High School.
Notable former pupils/staff
Alumni of the school are referred to as Old Anselmians, or within the school as Old Boys, reflecting the single-sex nature of the school. The alumni association of the college is the Anselmian Association.
- Peter Baker, keyboard player with Liverpool bands The Room, The Wild Swans, and Pete Wylie
- Dave Balfe, keyboard player in various Liverpool bands especially The Teardrop Explodes and manager of Blur (band)
- Peter Davenport, former footballer with Nottingham Forest FC, Manchester United FC, Middlesbrough FC, Sunderland AFC
- Bob Fitzharris, Archdeacon of Doncaster from 2001-11
- Christian Furr, UK artist who painted HRH
- John Gorman (entertainer) in The Scaffold
- Austin Healey, former English International rugby player (Leicester Tigers) (Healey was also the last person to have been beaten with a strap before corporal punishment was abolished.)
- Ben Johnston, English International rugby player (England Saxons)
- Prof Dennis Kavanagh, Professor of Politics from 1996-2006 at the University of Liverpool
- Ross MacManus, UK musician; father of Elvis Costello
- Chris Malkin, former footballer with Tranmere Rovers
- Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor since 2015 of Ulster University
- Sean O'Connor (producer), Executive Producer since 2016 of EastEnders, and former Editor of The Archers on BBC radio 4
- Mark Palios, former Chief Executive of The Football Association and owner of Tranmere Rovers F.C.
- Chris Pilgrim, Newcastle Falcons rugby player
- Prof Christopher J. Schofield FRS, chemist, Head of Organic Chemistry since 2011 at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford
- Peter Stanford, writer and journalist, Editor from 1988-92 of The Catholic Herald
- Christian Savrimuto, former Ireland International rugby player (Sale Sharks)
- David Thomas, Chief Ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service from 2009–10
- Rev Frank Topping, known for Pause for Thought on Radio 2
- James Walton (journalist), Telegraph TV reviewer and Radio 4 presenter of The Write Stuff
- Scott Wootton, Leeds United F.C.
- Anselm of Canterbury
- Congregation of Christian Brothers
- Edmund Ignatius Rice
- Grammar school
- Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
- Upton Hall School FCJ