Our Heritage

Semper Quaereamus Virtutem

Let Us Always Seek Virtue

The Blue Coat School has a proud history and heritage within the Oldham area.

Our Founder, Thomas Henshaw, was a committed Anglican who left a bequest in his will to fund a school which would provide education for the orphaned boys of the parish. The Blue Coat School is the realisation of that bequest.

The Henshaw family were always considerate towards their workers and worked to establish schools for the education of their workers’ children, actively encouraging their attendance at church.

They were liberal benefactors of local charities and undertakings, making regular donations to the Manchester Infirmary and the Psychiatric Hospital, and were associated with the construction of new roads in the area.

The Henshaw family were also the first people to establish Sunday Schools in Lancashire, actively hiring schoolmasters to teach reading and writing on a Sunday. This would have been the only formal education that most of the children ever received.

The foundation stone for the school was laid in 1829 and first opened in 1834. The Blue Coat School continues to serve the wider parish, attracting students from all over the Greater Manchester area and beyond helping young people become everything they can be and everything they are meant to be. Our school motto, Semper Quaereamus Virtutem-Let Us Always Seek Virtue, also very much reflects the attributes of our founder and the qualities he wanted to convey to the people of the local parish.

From these humble beginnings, the Blue Coat School has become one of the biggest and most successful schools in the country. The school has a national reputation for high quality teaching and learning, pastoral care, consistently excellent examination results and outstanding progress. Our most recent OFSTED re-inspection in December 2022 saw the school maintain it’s outstanding status in all categories.

Blue Coat is grounded in tradition and history, and is evolving and forward looking. Our historic campus has been restored and developed extensively over the years; our students enjoy picnic lunches in front of a Grade II listed building but their learning takes place in superb 21st century classrooms, laboratories and studios.

Blue Coat is dedicated to serving young people, to enable them to become everything they can be and everything that they are meant to be. We are a Church of England school that welcomes members of other Christian denominations, and of other faiths.

Our Anglican beliefs, values and worship are at the core of our life together in school just as it was in 1834 when the school was first opened.

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The Blue Coat School is proud to be part of the Cranmer Education Trust

Cranmer Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity registered in England. Company registration number: 07687709. Registered Office: Cranmer Education Trust, c/o Blue Coat School, Egerton Street, Oldham OL1 3SQ. The website address is www.cranmereducationtrust.com and the phone number 0161 785 5082.