is situated in the Southeast corner of Blackpool in the
district of Marton. It is within one mile of the M55 motorway
and is well served by other routes. Staff commute to the
area from Fleetwood and Lancaster in the North, Preston
and Blackburn in the East, Chorley and Southport to the
South. Manchester and Liverpool are within an hour’s
drive of Blackpool, as are the Lake District, the Yorkshire
Dales and the Trough of Bowland.
The school serves the area of South Blackpool and Marton.
In the past the pupils lived relatively close to the school,
but many now travel from further afield. The school is
expanding rapidly, the admission number has changed from
127 to 190, and is oversubscribed for September 2004.
Standards have risen consistently. All categories of GCSE
performance have shown improvement and two are above Blackpool
and National averages. Since January 1998 the appointment
of a new Headteacher, and subsequently two new Deputy
Headteachers, (all external appointments) has provided
significant impetus to change and improvement.
The school has expanded to 7-form entry, and is set to
expand further. St George’s became a Voluntary Aided
Church of England School in 2002 and a £6 million
building programme will be finished shortly. The new school
buildings have completely changed the focus for the school
and represent the most prestigious development in Secondary
Education in Blackpool for 30 years. New accommodation
includes a new entrance, administration and reception,
ICT facility, lecture theatre, café, classrooms
(ten), refectory and Art and Design block. A new Sports
Hall will open in November 2004. These building projects
signal the ambition of the school and the confidence of
the L.E.A., and the Diocese in the school’s future.
It is anticipated that Anglican status will further extend
the school’s capacity to attract pupils from the
Fylde Coast and to become the natural choice of secondary
education for the borough’s four Church of England
primary schools. The school serves a wide number of wards
and 33% of pupils are entitled to free school meals. Although
high, this percentage represents a substantial decrease
from the highest figure in the 1990’s of 43%.
The school occupies a large site (28 acres) and was opened
in 1957, originally as a Secondary Modern School. It is
now one of eight comprehensive schools within the Blackpool
LEA. The 1950s building was upgraded to provide a Music
suite, Art and Design Studio and refurbished accommodation
for Design Technology, Food and Textiles. Although £177,000
was invested in these developments, a new half million
is being developed to remodel and refurbish. A new security
system and refurbished changing rooms were projects completed
in Spring 1999 and all four Science Laboratories were
completely refurbished. A new Independent Learning Centre
housing a new Library, ICT & BIS Suite was completed
Easter 2000. In general, staff enjoy a high quality of
environment and of facilities and new staff can anticipate
sympathetic consideration of ideas and plans to enhance
curriculum and infrastructure. Nowhere has benefited more
than ICT and the school is committed to embedding e-learning
in all areas. Ten interactive whiteboards have just been
In 2004 three Science demonstration rooms have been created
to augment laboratory provision and the old dining room
has been remodelled to provide two additional Maths rooms.
The L.E.A. & the
Blackpool became a unitary authority in 1998 and the LEA
has 44 schools (8 Secondary, 33 Primary & 3 Special.)
The LEA has excellent working relationships with its schools
noted by the Audit Commission and Ofsted. St George’s
is highly regarded and the Headteacher is Chair of the
Blackpool Headteacher’s Association and sits on
the Joint Steering Committee, the group of Officers and
Heads which has responsibility for Strategic Development
of Education. The school has been involved in DfES projects
and regularly welcomes visitors to the LEA from the DfES
(e.g. the North of England KS3 Strategy Manager.) The
Authority has Excellence in Cities status, a federation
of High Schools and Colleges and a reputation for innovation.
As a result, there are excellent opportunities to gain
experience of local and national initiatives.
St George’s is the newest Church High School in
Blackburn, a diocese with the largest number of Voluntary
Aided Church Schools in England. The Diocesan Director
is a regular visitor to the school and relationships with
other Anglican High Schools are developing. The School’s
Admissions Criteria signal St George’s continuing
commitment to children of all faiths and none who live
within the local parishes. Thus, the ethos of the school
remains sensitive to the needs of all youngsters who would
naturally look to St George’s as their secondary
school, as well as providing a faith school option for
parents in Blackpool and the Fylde.
The school was inspected in the first tranche of Inspections
under the new framework in November 2003 whilst the building
programme was still having a major impact! The judgements
were very pleasing with 3 out of 4 lessons judged to be
good, with a substantial amount better than good. Teaching,
learning and achievement were all good across the school
and lesson planning was deemed a strength. Care, guidance
and support were judged to be very good. The Section 23
Report which took place concurrently was equally positive.
Visits and extra-curricular activities are encouraged
and the school fields a number of sports teams. The Arts
are an area of excellence within the school and St George’s
was the only state school to secure a team trophy at the
Blackpool Town Sports in June 2004.
Pupils leaving St George’s
can continue their education at the local 6th Form College,
tertiary college or at one of the school based sixth forms
in nearby St Annes, Kirkham or Poulton-Le-Fylde.
School Structure and
Year Heads support tutor teams in each year and in September
2003 the school appointed three Assistant Year Co-ordinators
to aid them. The school operates an Assertive Discipline
System which has recently been reviewed and has a number
of support strategies/personnel including Learning Mentors,
an Attendance & Welfare Officer, a Social Inclusion
Pupil Support Facility (SIPs) and an LSU. We are committed
to using staff and strategies imaginatively.
The school is at an exciting stage in its development:
there is genuine commitment to school improvement which
resulted in a high profile visit to the school by Prime
Minister Tony Blair, David Blunkett and Jack Straw in
October 1998, and the DfEE Achievement Award in 2001.
The Headteacher was invited by the Secretary of State
to sit on the Working Group at Westminster advising the
Minister on the implementation of the new National Curriculum
Orders for Citizenship. Recruiting high quality, energetic
staff is a top priority and every support and encouragement
is given to the successful candidates. St George’s
Church of England High School has invested heavily in
staffing and staff development in the last two to three
years as the school has grown and developed. Staff recruitment
has been very successful and a cohort of new, enthusiastic
and ambitious staff has been blended with a core of experienced,
committed and highly skilled teachers. Five new teaching
staff joined the school in September 2004 (in English,
Maths, Science & ICT). In addition the staff association
is a vibrant group organising a number of social events
throughout the year.
Associate Staffing has been expanded to support teachers
and to provide appropriate structures, services and advice.
A Network Manager was appointed in 2003. A School Manager
took up post in September 2002 and a Technology/Art Technician
augmented the Technician Support. The Administrative Staff
has been strengthened with the appointment of a Pastoral
Support Assistant and a Library Technician. The school
has an Admissions and Attendance Officer and five Learning
Mentors and pupils are supported by a number of SSA’s.
We are also enthusiastic in encouraging the Gifted and
Talented both through the curriculum and visits to Universities
(Cambridge 2002, Oxford 2003) and other extension activities.