The Liverpool Institute for High School for Boys


The school was founded in 1825 as the Mechanics Institute.

From the age of 11 until I was 16, this was my school of choice.

When I was of school age, all UK children took what was known as the eleven plus, an exam (IQ test) which, if passed, allowed one to attend a grammar school. The Institute was a grammar school. It was also a selective one. It drew pupils from all over Liverpool while the other four grammar schools in the city only took pupils from their local catchment area. Thus, only the cream attended the Institute. Modesty does not come easy to me.

In those days Latin was mandatory for admission to Oxford or Cambridge, so Latin was compulsory during the first year. Regrettably I was no good at it, plus, I was a rebellious student, hence, I rapidly got second streamed.

The terminology in school was quaint. I started in the third form, followed by the fourth, lower fifth, upper fifth and finally the removes. I didn’t make it into the sixth. By that time I had gone into further education at the College of Building.

My only sporting activity at school was the swimming team. I was the junior champion in the first year and declined from there. Swimming is a solitary sport and you have to train long hours if you want to be good. I wasn’t that motivated. However, I did make the city schoolboys team.

The school closed in 1985 and has now been resurrected as the LIPA. Below is a blurb from their web site.

The initial development of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts involved three separate groups who came together in 1989. Paul McCartney, an old boy of the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, had long been dismayed by the sad state of his old school building which was falling into decay after the closure of the school in 1985. Liverpool City Council had been concerned about arts and cultural activities. Then there was the Schools for Performing Arts Trust, a charity created in the mid 80s with part of its mission to initiate schools for performing arts with a specific education and training philosophy. Both Paul McCartney and Liverpool City Council independently approached the Trust to find out what kind of institution might best fit into existing and planned performing arts training provision in Liverpool.