Bluecoat School, Wavertree
The Bluecoat School was opened in 1906, when the pupils were transferred from the old building in School Lane, Liverpool (nowadays known as Bluecoat Chambers). The Liverpool Blue Coat School - or Blue Coat Hospital, to give it its original title - was founded in 1708 by Mr Bryan Blundell and Rev. Robert Styth as "a school for teaching poor children to read, write and cast accounts". Blundell was a leading Liverpool shipowner - reputedly the owner of the first ship to enter the town's first dock in 1715 - and slave trader, participating in the 'triangular trade' which linked Liverpool, West Africa and the Caribbean.The original school expanded rapidly and a new building (the present Bluecoat Chambers in School Lane) was opened in 1718. It was still in use in 1899, when the decision to move 'to the countryside' was made and the land here in Church Road - overlooking the newly-opened Wavertree Playground - was purchased. The Blue Coat School retained its 'orphanage' role until the late 1940s, the boys and girls in their old-fashioned dress having been a familiar sight in Wavertree during the interwar years. In 1949, however, it became a 'secondary bilateral' school for boys only (day pupils as well as boarders). Girls were re-admitted, to the sixth form only, in 1990, when the boarding house eventually closed owing to lack of demand. In 1997 after several years as a nominally comprehensive school, the Blue Coat changed its status once again, becoming a Grant Maintained School selecting its pupils on the basis of academic ability.