Liverpool Blue Coat School can trace its origins back to 1708 when a request was made to the mayor and town council of Liverpool for support in “building a School, for teaching poor children to read, write, etc.”
This request was made by the Rev. Robert Stythe, a rector at the recently-established church of St Peter’s. Stythe was supported in this initiative by a number of other leading citizens including Bryan Blundell, a sea captain, and merchant. Blundell became the major financial benefactor of the school, and on Stythe’s death in 1713, Blundell took over as actual Treasurer of the school. For over 40 years, Blundell oversaw the development and expansion of the school. Under his leadership, the school provided education, food, and housing for the destitute children of the growing port town.
In the summer of 2020 concerns were raised by members of the school community about evidence of Blundell’s connections with transatlantic slavery and the way that Bryan Blundell was commemorated within the school building and within school life.
During the school year 2020-21 Dr. Wainwright from the History & Politics Department, together with the school’s student-led History Society, conducted an in-depth research project examining the development of the school and the extent of Bryan Blundell’s links to the slavery-based economy of the eighteenth century. A summary of the main findings of the project is available here.
New house names revealed
As our current students and Old Blues will know, the house system is a very important part of life at our school. The role of the house system is something that we want to strengthen and build upon, but it was becoming increasingly clear that our previous house names were not reflective of the modern world we are part of.
As a result, during 2021 we worked with our students to consider new names. This was a thorough and detailed process that involved students working with an archivist to explore, debate, and research individuals whose legacy has shaped our society.
Following this process, the final house names were agreed.
We are proud that these strong individuals are remembered in the daily life of our school.
A double Nobel Laureate who challenged stereotypes about the role of females in science and discovered polonium and radium.
Dr. Rosalind Franklin
An Anglo-Jewish woman who conducted a series of major experiments during World War II and made a significant contribution to the discovery of DNA.
An MP for Liverpool, historian, patron of the arts, and, crucially, one of the very first people in the country to denounce the transatlantic slave trade.
A British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and courageous humanitarian who rode out to the Crimean battlefield with food and medicine to care for soldiers.
A mathematician famous for cracking the German Enigma coding system. In 2013, he was granted a posthumous pardon for how he was treated as a gay man in the 50s, and his legacy paved the way for the pardoning of nearly 50,000 men through the Turing Law.
The Tod family
The Tod family are philanthropists who have supported many aspects of life at our school for over 50 years and continue to help students enjoy educational and cultural trips. The family even helped the school to remain open in the 1980s.
Scilla Yates, Headteacher, said: “What I hope comes across through these names is that they have inspired our students not just by their achievements, but also through their values, experiences, and ability to overcome challenges. Their role in supporting others was also crucial in their selection. I hope our students are proud to be members of these houses."