Press Release: June 30th 2004
Secretary of State for Education has awarded Burscough Priory High School the accolade of Specialist School Status. As from September the school will be re-launched as a Science College. What makes the school even more excited is the fact that this accolade was achieved at the first attempt which in itself is quite an achievement. The majority of schools bidding for specialist schools status only succeed after their second or third bid.
Each year a large number of schools apply for Specialist School Status, which is awarded not only in recognition of the high standard already being achieved at the school but also as a result of the school’s commitment to raise standards even higher to an agreed target level over the following four years, as detailed in the bid the school had to submit. In cold monetary terms, before a school can submit its bid it must raise some of the funding required itself from parents, local businesses and the community and this funding must reach a minimum of £50,000. In return, the government award the school extra funding of £100,000 plus £126 per pupil per year, which for Burscough Priory Science College will equate to over a half a million pounds of new investment over the next four years.
One third of this money will be used in strengthening links with the local community which include plans for developing stronger links with the feeder primary schools and local sixth form colleges. The remainder of this funding will be used to improve facilities for both school use and also to provide new facilities for use by the local community.
Chair of Governors Michael Forshaw said, “This is a milestone in the school’s history, the bid has been almost two years in the making and to succeed at the first attempt is a tribute to the commitment of everybody involved.” He added, “Everyone at school from the Headteacher downwards has been totally focused on this goal, a lot of extra time and effort has been applied by staff, pupils, parents, governors et al. We appreciate the generosity of parents and local businesses and the community in raising the money necessary; it has not been an easy task. Both teaching and non-teaching staff accepted the challenge to maintain and improve standards with great enthusiasm.”
In September 2004, the school officially opened its brand new Science and Performing Arts building comprising of state of the art facilities to further enhance and support the teaching of these two subject areas. Although this new building has been a totally separate project, costing in excess of £1.2 million and jointly funded by the school and the LEA, its completion has however been timed to compliment the awarding of Science College Status to Burscough Priory High School.