Burscough Priory Science College

Coordinates: 53°36′05″N 2°50′51″W / 53.6013°N 2.8476°W / 53.6013; -2.8476

Burscough Priory Science College
Motto E Pluribus Unum
("Out of Many, One")
Established June 1958
Type Community school
Head Dr. Graham Clarke
Deputy Headteacher Mr. T Edgar
Location Burscough
L40 7RZ
Local authority Lancashire
DfE URN 119746 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 90
Students 720
Ages 11–16
Website Burscough Priory Science College

Burscough Priory Science College is a specialist Science College, in Lancashire, England. It officially opened on 10 June 1958 as Burscough County Secondary School under the Headship of Brian Stone, and cost just over £120,000 to build. The then Edward Stanley, 18th Earl of Derby (1918–1994) presided over the ceremony. At the time of opening, the school's staff of ten teachers looked after 222 pupils.

The school's motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), which is also the motto of the United States, was thought to be appropriate as the new school was created from several all-age schools from around the area.


The school originally occupied 13 acres (53,000 m2) of space, of which just over 8 acres (32,000 m2) was developed into playing fields and sport facilities. The school building comprised a two-storey building with 8 classrooms and 6 practical rooms, amongst changing rooms and hall. Originally the school was to be named Ormskirk Burscough County Secondary School. However, protests by the people of Burscough were successful in having the "Ormskirk" dropped from the title. The original school was designed to educate a maximum of 300 students, but numbers rose to 450 before any extensions where added.

Although small in size in comparison to other secondary comprehensive schools in West Lancashire, the school has seen several expansions since its construction. As well as a ROSLA building being constructed in the early 1970s, the school was also extended in 1976. It then became known as Burscough Priory High School. During this time the roll expanded to over 800 pupils with the comprehensive intake.

Brian Stone retired in July 1984 and Eric Cole took on the role of acting headteacher for the autumn term in 1984 until the appointment of Roger Leighton as headteacher in January 1985.

The school was later extended again with the construction of a Performing Arts building, in response to gaining specialist Science College status.

The school has 690 students and caters for 11- to 16-year-olds, with 90 members of staff.


Burscough Priory Science College.

The school's four buildings link to form a single school. The layout is split into two parts, with a glass corridor providing an indoor connection between them.

Main/original building

The original building is where the modern school entrance and main corridors are, including the classrooms on the upper floor. This was the original school until it was extended in 1972 and 1976 for the raising of school leaving age and for the comprehensive intake, respectively.

No extensive refurbishment has taken place in the original part of the school. A gymnasium was built during the 1970s, when headteacher Brian Stone had the option to build a swimming pool or a gymnasium, and chose the latter. The back of school also saw an extension of classrooms during the 1970s and the front entrance saw some refurbishment during the summer of 2004. As part of the school's continuing development in ICT, the first floor of the original building was redeveloped into ICT suites, alongside refurbishment of the school library into a Learning Resource Centre.

The ROSLA Building

In 1972, a law was passed to increase the legal age at which a pupil could leave compulsory education from 15 to 16. As with many schools around the country, a ROSLA building was erected next the main school building, which is the first building seen upon entering the school premises.

Although intended to last for only around 15 years, the ROSLA building is still standing after 35. It accommodates the art and history departments, as well as a 5th year (Year 11) common room on the ground floor with a smaller secondary cafeteria adjoined to it. The upper floor has seen minor redecoration, as well as the exterior being painted during the summer of 2007. Refurbishment work to the exterior, including paneling and painting, occurred during summer 2008.

Science and Performing Arts building

In September 2004, the school changed its name toBurscough Priory Science College to reflect gaining specialist school status in Science. The science and performing arts building was completed and in use in the same month, with the official opening occurring 8 months later on 25 May 2005, being named after the original headteacher as The Brian Stone Centre. It accommodates the newly built science laboratories on the ground floor, as well as the upper floor music & performing arts departments, comprising 2 large music rooms, several practice rooms and a drama studio.

This building was built on the location which housed the aging portable cabin classrooms.

Recent investments

The school has seen heavy investments since 2004, which are still continuing. An Ofsted report in November 2004 slated the school for not providing sufficient teaching for ICT and religious studies, as well as an unsatisfactory Design & Technology Department, mainly because of staffing problems. The Design and Technology Department has seen refurbishment of all its subject rooms since 2004, with the Food Technology room last to be refurbished in this project, being completed in September 2006.

An investment in 2005 funded the construction of an ICT suite, the first general-purpose ICT room for the school, allowing any subject to book it for their own lessons. This has also provided the facilities to allow the school to teach ICT through all years across the school. Further investment into ICT was provided in summer 2008 when all ICT was centralised on the upper floor of the main building, meaning refurbished classrooms and a modernised Learning Resource Centre replacing the aging library, dating back to when the school was constructed.

Solar panels

In 2008, Burscough Priory was one of 100 schools through the United Kingdom to have been chosen to receive solar panels worth £20000, half funded by the Co-op's £1m Green Energy for Schools Scheme. An LCD display in the school entrance displays the total energy generated by the panels since installation (including real-time generation) and also the amount of greenhouse gases which have been prevented from entering the atmosphere.[1]


Brian Stone was the first headteacher at the school, then called Burscough County Secondary School, having been head of the mathematics department at Huyton-with-Roby County Secondary School. He had a staff of 10 teachers and the total number of pupils on roll was 222. Stone retired in July 1984 after 26 years as headteacher, and has since died. The New Science and Performing arts building was officially named the "Brian Stone Centre" in memory of Brian.
Stone served in the R.A.F. during World War II and also as a radar mechanic. He graduated with a B.Sc at Nottingham University, gaining his teaching diploma in 1951. He was 33 years old when appointed to the position of headteacher.
Roger Leighton became the second headteacher at Burscough Priory High School in January 1985, having overseen the school being awarded specialist status in Science in June 2004 and once again changing its name to Burscough Priory Science College. Roger retired in the summer of 2009, having served as headteacher for 24 years.
Doug Bruce joined the school in September 2009 as the third headteacher of Burscough Priory Science College, having served as deputy headteacher in the school from 1992-1999. Doug resigned in May 2011 after 20 months as headteacher due to ill health.
Catherine Edens took up post as the first female headteacher of Burscough Priory in April 2012. She previously held the posts of Head of Babbage School and Vice Principal of Walworth Academy in London. Catherine Davies is currently principle of North Birmingham Academy as of September 2015.
Dr Graham Clarke took up the post of headteacher on 1 September 2014.

See also


External links

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