In 1948, the same year the NHS was founded, Tower College in Rainhill opened its doors to boys and girls in the area. Since then, the school has enjoyed a string of successes and can boast many talented alumni.
The impressive gothic-style building and its imposing tower, set in stunning grounds, are but a backdrop to the real magic that has been happening inside for the last 70 years.
The school was founded by my parents, Charles and Muriel Oxley, in 1948,” says Rachel Oxley, current Principal at the school. “They wanted to found an independent school that provided a happy, family environment and was not just for the privileged few; where every child was welcomed and could be successful in their own unique way.
When Tower College first opened, there were 70 pupils, one full time teacher and two part-time. Now, hundreds of children pass through the gates every day.
Tower College has always been a close-knit ‘family’ of staff and pupils who all embrace the school’s values of ‘achievement’, ‘belonging’ and ‘compassion’. This is evident in the number of pupils who have returned to train or teach at the school and the staff who send their own children.
Every parent wants the best start in life for their child and I am very proud of the fact that we have always been an inclusive school, striving to support and nurture our children in whatever talents and ambitions they may have. And being a small independent school, we are able to offer the individual support that many children would not normally receive.
This support has been particularly evident in recent years, as past pupils, encouraged by the school to focus on their strengths and talents and follow their dreams, have enjoyed their first tastes of success. To name just a couple, Sophie Morgan, an aspiring musician in her time at Tower College, has recently supported the Waterboys on their recent European tour and another former pupil, Beth Taylor, has won a tennis scholarship to a prestigious American university.
The school itself has recently had a very successful ISI inspection and also enjoyed continued academic excellence over many years, boasting an impressive 93% average pass rate for GCSEs, well above the current national average of around 60%.
Current pupils are also adding to the history of success, with several pupils and school teams qualifying for national sporting events with achievements including gold, silver and bronze swimming medals and further academic wins at the national Young Writers competitions, and our public speaking team winning the first two rounds of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition, all in just the first few weeks of this 70th anniversary year!
I am very happy that I have been able to continue my parents’ legacy and see the children, from all walks of life, who have passed through our doors over the years, flourish and succeed, and then return with their children!
To commemorate the occasion, a garden party was held in the school grounds, on Saturday 21st April where current and former pupils and staff, their families and members of the local community came together to celebrate this special year in the school’s history.