A plan to reopen Kingsmead School in Hoylake has been announced, three years after it shut down.
The Bertram Drive site closed in 2020 after a rescue bid by parents, staff, alumni and supporters failed, leaving the parents of 130 pupils, many with special educational needs, scrambling to find an alternative.
Discussions to find the best way to develop the school’s 116 year legacy have been ongoing ever since.
Now, the Kingsmead Trust has announced that it will partner with Oasis, a national charity whose work includes running schools, under the new name ‘Oasis Kingsmead’.
They say that Oasis Kingsmead “will explore new opportunities to ensure Kingsmead continues its long history of serving children, young people, and the local community” and believe it has “a set of values that echo the founding purpose of Kingsmead”.
They have highlighted the work of Oasis with children “on the margins and from every walk of life”, adding that a partnership “is the ideal way to take the Kingsmead vision forward in a way which meets the pressing needs of young people in the twenty-first century.”
Hugh Bradby, the Chair of Kingsmead Trust, said: “Following exploratory talks about working with us to build on the school’s legacy, we are pleased to announce that we have decided to invite Oasis to partner with us, and that under the new name of Oasis Kingsmead we have already begun to hold conversations with a range of possible partners and are looking to support children in Wirral as we explore various opportunities for the future.”
The move is being backed by the grandson of Kingsmead’s founder, Arthur Watts.
Murray Watts, a trustee whose father David was headmaster of Kingsmead from 1949 – 1979, said: “I support this partnership wholeheartedly. I believe that this is the beginning of a wonderful new era for Kingsmead which will have a profound effect on the lives of many children.”
Steve Chalke, Founder of Oasis, said: “Building on the legacy of Kingsmead’s rich history, we are excited by the opportunity to partner with Kingsmead and to work with local partners to serve children and young people, as well as the whole local community of Hoylake into the future.”
Public meetings are being held at the school on Wednesday 27 September, from 2pm – 3.30pm and 6:30pm – 8pm, for people to find out more details about the future vision of Kingsmead.