St Margaret's Church of England Academy

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St Margaret's Church of England Academy
St. Margaret's C of E High School, Liverpool.png
Motto Fide et Labore
(Latin: "[by] Faith and Work")
Established 1879
Type academy
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mr Stephen Brierley
Location Aigburth Road
Aigburth, Liverpool
L17 6AB
53°22′07″N 2°55′48″W / 53.3686°N 2.9301°W / 53.3686; -2.9301Coordinates: 53°22′07″N 2°55′48″W / 53.3686°N 2.9301°W / 53.3686; -2.9301
Students 964
Gender Boys, with mixed sixth form
Ages 11–18


School Hymn - Sing it in the Valleys
Website St Margaret's CE Academy

St Margaret's Church of England Academy is a secondary school for boys (with a mixed sixth form) in Aigburth, Liverpool, England.[1] It is popularly known as St Margaret's, Aigburth, frequently shortened to "SMA" or "Essemmay". Essemmay is also the name of the former students' association.[2] The "SMA" tag applied equally well for the school's original home in Anfield, Liverpool.


The school accepts 160 boys per year, and girls are accepted in years 12 and 13. St Margaret's Sixth Form is part of the Faiths Partnership with fellow member schools St Hilda's Church of England High School, Archbishop Blanch School and Bellerive FCJ Catholic College. Together, the schools offer Sixth Form students an extensive range of courses.

The school is on Aigburth Road (A561) just north of Aigburth railway station in Aigburth, just east of Otterspool. It is next to the Church of St Anne, Aigburth (C of E) which is the local parish covering the school. JMU have their I M Marsh Campus nearby to the east and Liverpool Community College had their Riversdale Centre (a former nautical college) to the south, before it was turned into 93 houses and 148 flats.


The original school in Anfield
These drawings were the school Christmas card for the 1979 centenary

The school was founded by Alderman William Preston, one time Mayor of Liverpool, and the Vicar of St. Margaret's, Anfield, Reverend John Sheepshanks. The school opened in 1879 by the parish dignitary and MP for West Toxteth, Mr TB Royden. The school's first Headmaster was Mr E Crossley and an early teacher and benefactor was Mrs Gertrude Langton.

Preston, Sheepshanks, Royden, Crossley and Langton are commemorated in the names of the current School Forms. In the 2015/2016 academic year, the form Walton was added in commemoration of the school's first female headteacher.

The school, as first moved to Aigburth

The school began as a Higher Grade School and after the 1918 Education Act, St Margaret's was recognised as a Central School with a selective intake based on a competitive examination. After the Education Act 1944, the school was restyled St. Margaret's Church of England School and during the 1950s courses leading to the GCE 'O' Level and 'A' Level examinations were established. In 1963 the school moved from Anfield to Aigburth. In the 1970s it had around 550 boys. In 1980 it was enlarged to a four-form entry school for students from 11 to 18 years of age. This was the year that the school had their first intake of girl students.

There were two other secondary schools in Liverpool also called St Margaret - St Margaret Mary's RC Secondary Modern School, a mixed school on Pilch Lane and St Margaret Cltherow RC Secondary School, a girls' school on Ullet Road.

St Margaret's is a Church of England High School and was awarded Technology College status in 1997, and Specialist Language College status in 2008. The school increased its intake to five-form entry in September 1998. In September 2015 the school again increased its intake to six-form entry. It is now an Academy as of 2014.

New buildings[edit]

In recent years, three major building developments, the Technology Suite, Sixth Form Centre and the Humanities and Administration Suite, have considerably improved the school's teaching and administration facilities. The Cricket and Sports Centre opened in 2006. In 2010 the school were given funding on behalf of Building Schools for Future Program. Originally the school was going to move to a new site on Edge Lane; however, the Governors disagreed, and the school remained at Aigburth, but instead the school rebuilt the main office, and the main corridor was updated. In 2014, 6 more classrooms and a new examination hall have been built to replace old classrooms on the yard, taking the place of the old gymnasium. In 2016, new food technology and drama departments were built, as well as the renovation of the cafeteria.

Academic performance[edit]

St Margaret's has consistently high placings in the local League Tables. The 2007 SAT results placed the school in the top 25% of schools, nationally. Following the recent Ofsted inspection and record-breaking examination results, the school has been identified by the Department for Children, Schools and Families as a High Performing Specialist School.


The effort of Head of physical education Mrs Nuala Dunne has led to several pupils being on trial with football clubs such as Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athlectic and who also attend the Liverpool FC Academy. Last year the football team beat 4 other schools and came second only to Impington Village College in the English FA Schools Cup. The school also excels at rugby, in 2012 and 2013 the year 8 and then year 9 team won the Lancashire Emerging Schools Cup.

Streets of Culture[edit]

SMA has its own gaming company, St. Margaret's Games. In 2006, students collaborated with Jaguar, Liverpool Hope University and Lateral Visions to create a state-of-the-art car racing computer game, entitled Streets of Culture. The game shows different Liverpool landmarks situated around a racetrack, in 2008. All profits from the game go to BBC's Children in Need. The creation of this is to be highlighted in the Teachers TV programme, Inspirations, and premiered on 8 January 2008. The programme can be seen "here". Teachers TV. .

Watch "An interview with the boys involved". YouTube. 

SMA are currently part of the gaming company Inter-School Visions, along with fellow Liverpool secondary schools St Hilda's Church of England High School, Shorefields Technology College, St Benedict's College and Parklands High School. They have now created Streets of Culture 08: The Liver Mysteries, a computer game that was released to tie-in with Capital of Culture Year. The game can be bought at the Streets of Culture website and also at their Myspace page. All proceeds go to Claire House hospice.

Musical & Talent Productions[edit]

Every summer at SMA head of music, Mr Stephen Derringer holds the Music For A Summer Evening concert in which students throughout the school show off their music talents to the parents and a staff. 2008's Music For A Summer Evening concert featured the school choir, a jazz/swing band arranged by Gerry Harrison the resident woodwind teacher, a recorder troupe, a 4 piece choir and the bagpipes. Miss Hazel Kinloch from the RE department and Mrs Nuala Dunne from the PE department have produced successful productions of Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat, and A Christmas Carol (otherwise known as Scrooge). Geography and IT teacher Mr Paul Clark and Art teacher Mr Bradfield-Smith held a talent show called SMA's Got Talent in which the proceeds were donated to Children in Need. This production also showcased three teachers including Mr Clark and Mr Bradfield-Smith as judges. This event raised a lot of money for the chosen charity, something which the school is very proud of. There are several other projects at SMA which are also going to make an impact on the school's already high status.

The School Council[edit]

The school has a Student Council consisting of two representatives from each house group. Each year group council has twelve representatives, two of which are elected to represent their year group.

Meetings are held weekly by each year group council; the majority of suggestions come to council from the students. The council has several departments such as Health and Safety and the Senior Committee, which is made up of all the year representatives. From the Senior Committee, choices such as non-uniform days and school disco's are discussed in detail and if a majority of the committee agrees, they are passed on to Senior Management staff for final review and decision. If the idea is declined, it is returned to the Senior Committee for further discussion together with the comments given by Senior Management.

The Student Council is highly reliant on ideas coming from the students themselves, not individuals on the council. The Council works with the pupils to help promote the voice of the Council and to inform the headmaster as to what the students want to help and improve their academic life.

Notable chairmen of the Student Council have included Andrew McCaldon and James Sedley who have been responsible for overseeing numerous changes within the school over recent years. Incidentally they both served as Vice Chairs on the Sixth Form Executive committee.

The Council have also been involved in out of school activities, such as supporting the elderly and providing equipment for those ex-students who are undertaking expeditions to raise money for charities. Mrs Andrea Penketh supports the Council and provides the connection between the Senior Committee of the Council and the Senior Management (including governors) of the school.

Notable former pupils[edit]


External links[edit]