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John Speller – Oral History Project

BLUE COAT’S WINDOW ON THE PAST, by the people who were there

Interviewers: Christine Holt and Peter Elson


John Speller, born 1949: Headteacher from 1989, taking over from Peter Arnold-Craft, faced challenges: closure of boarding houses – only 30 boarders left. LMS (Local Management of Schools) introduced, and student numbers increased to four entry forms with ex-Boarders’ South Block converted to classrooms. Tense relations with Liverpool’s Militant City Council which had tried to close the School in 1985, but tried to build bridges. Started move to full grammar status by applying for grant-maintained status, with entry by exam not interview. Girls reintroduced to Sixth Form in 1989.


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  • John Speller – Oral History Project