History Of Archbishop Blanch School

Founded in 1981, Archbishop Blanch Church of England High School has a rich history which pre-dates its beginnings.

Our school was forged by the coming together of two most prestigious grammar schools - St Edmund's College and Liverpool Girls' College, both schools possessing strong Christian backgrounds.

The original Liverpool Collegiate School for Girls was founded in 1856 in Bedford Street North by the Very Rev Dr Howson, Dean of Chester, who was the Headmaster of Liverpool College from 1850 - 1860. The school prospered and was renamed Liverpool College for Girls, moving to Grove Street in 1878 where it remained until 1981. In 1944 the passing of the Education Act was to have a far reaching effect on the future of the school and a year later it was decided that Liverpool College could no longer continue responsibility for the upkeep of the school. As a Church Foundation the school was taken over by the Diocese of Liverpool. The change was marked by a change of name (to Liverpool Girls' College) and a change of badge. During its entire history the school retained its original purpose - to set learning within the context of the development of the full human being.

St Edmund's College was established in 1898 and was initially known as the Liverpool Church of England Pupil Teacher College situated in Sandown Terrace. The school quickly outgrew its buildings and moved to Colquitt Street where, in 1907, it was re-organised as a Secondary Grammar and officially named St Edmund's College. In 1925 the school moved to a much improved building in Devonshire Road, where it remained until its closure in 1981. Mrs Kathleen Goodacre, appointed Headteacher in 1977, was in fact the last Headteacher of St Edmund's and became the first Headteacher of Archbishop Blanch School until her retirement in 1986. To this day, Mrs Goodacre has remained a great friend and supporter of the school.

The site for the newly amalgamated schools in Sefton Park Road was not ideal, the building was old and in need of much repair. Indeed, the Minister for Education of the day had to shelter under an umbrella during his visit in the early 1990s to avoid the rain leaking through the roof! Despite these structural difficulties Archbishop Blanch School flourished under the energetic leadership of Mrs Kathleen Zimak (Headteacher from 1986 - 2003) and the school's reputation for high academic standards combined with a strong Christian ethos and pastoral care grew enormously.

The quest for better facilities continued and in 1993 we moved to our current site with the prospect of a major refurbishment programme ahead. Technology College status was awarded in 1995 and this revolutionised the teaching of the curriculum. Mr Stephen Brierley joined Archbishop Blanch School in 2003, making history by being the first male Headteacher of the school and we are thankful to him for steering a steady course of continuing success during his leadership.

Miss Jane Griffiths, a dedicated member of staff at Archbishop Blanch since 1984, joined the school as Head of Religious Studies, became Deputy Head in 2004 and achieved her ultimate goal in 2007 when she was appointed Headteacher. Since Miss Griffiths' leadership the school has achieved much, being re-designated as a High Performing Specialist School in 2008, gaining both Training School and Applied Learning status in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

It is a testimony to the governors, staff and pupils (both past and present) that the Christian ethos, family traditions and happy atmosphere that prevail today have endured the passage of time. Our school is truly a centre of excellence and, whilst we treasure memories of the past - evidenced in the stained glass windows and honours boards from our predecessors plus strong alumni organisations - we also embrace the challenges yet to come. We are part of the government's Building Schools for the Future programme and look forward to writing yet another chapter of history for the school.