The Early Days
Southport Municipal Secondary School for Boys was founded in September 1920 and occupied a building named 'The Woodlands’, along with some disused Army huts, at the north end of Lord Street where the Law Courts now stand. There were 110 boys in the School and the Headmaster was George Millward M.A. assisted by six teachers, Messrs J.Charnley, J.Edwards, A.T.L.Grear, G.C.D. Mason, J.W.Rogers and T.P. Spencer. Six Houses were formed to cater for the individual supervision of boys' progress, as well as for social and athletic purposes. They were: Edwards', Grear's, Mason's, Rogers', Spencer's and Woodham's. In September 1926, new buildings in Scarisbrick New Road were completed and, on October 16th, Lord Derby formally opened King George V School, which grew steadily to accommodate over 500 boys by the end of the 1920s and two further Houses, Evans' and Leech's brought the total to eight. In the 1930s, King George V School's reputation grew steadily, both academically and in other ways. During the Second World War, Bootle Grammar School's staff and pupils were evacuated to share the KGV building. George Millward retired in the Summer of 1949 and was succeeded by Geoffrey Dixon M.A. Under his leadership, the School continued to flourish and to strengthen its fine academic reputation. The size of the sixth form grew significantly from 123 in the late 1940s to 218 by the end of the 1960s, and the number proceeding to universities, particularly to Oxford and Cambridge, more than doubled over the period leading up to the School's Golden Jubilee in 1970.
In 1969 the number of Houses was increased from eight to twelve with the addition of Amer's, Holland's, Honeybone's and Lunn's and, by this date, the School roll had risen to almost 800. In the summer of 1976, Geoffrey Dixon retired as Headmaster of King George V School after 27 years of most distinguished service.
The Jubilee was marked by the publication of a commemorative booklet and by the purchase of 'Long Rigg', an outdoor pursuits centre near Sedbergh in the Yorkshire Dales. This hostel was fully equipped for field work in Biology and Geography, as well as for general outdoor activities, and almost 300 boys visited Long Rigg in the first six months of its foundation. One benefit of setting up the Jubilee Fund - servicing the needs of Long Rigg, amongst other projects - was the concurrent founding of the Parents' Association. In 1969 the number of Houses was increased from eight to twelve with the addition of Amer's, Holland's, Honeybone's and Lunn's and, by this date, the School roll had risen to almost 800. In the summer of 1976, Geoffrey Dixon retired as Headmaster of King George V School after 27 years of most distinguished service.
Geoffrey Dixon's successor was David Arnold M.A., during whose tenure the School changed its status to become King George V College in September 1979. At this time there were 750 on roll; 350 boys in the third, fourth and fifth years of the Grammar School, and 400 Sixth Form boys and girls, the latter transferring from Southport High School for Girls. The twelve Houses were absorbed into four Divisions. King George V School ended its life in 1982. During the sixty years of its existence there had been three Heads, five Deputies - George Mason, Joseph Edwards, Ike Higham, Les Hargreaves and George Wakefield - but only two Headmaster's Secretaries - Elizabeth Craig and Jean Buck. George Wakefield was one of five Old Georgians on the staff during that period, the others being Hubert Long, Bob Abram, Stan Rimmer and David Miley. The School started with a staff of seven and ended with 50, and the roll grew from 110 in 1920 to 851 in 1977. One year later, intake at 11 years of age ceased. In the September of 1983 David Arnold was succeeded as College Principal by Geraldine Evans B.A. under whose leadership KGV continued to grow and to develop new subject courses for the increased student numbers, for whom further buildings were commissioned. By this time, the College was building a reputation for excellence, just as its predecessor had done.
The New College
On Mrs Evans' retirement in 1991, Hilary Anslow B.A. M.Ed. was appointed Principal. During the 1990s KGV College became a corporation, making it independent from the local authority since when full time student numbers have risen from around 700 to almost 1200, necessitating larger premises. In 1996, an exciting building project was commenced, and the new Millennium Centre at King George V College was formally opened in the summer of 1997 by Lord Derby, whose grandfather had presided over the opening of King George V School in 1926. From September 1996, Adult Evening Classes were offered at King George V College, many of which were based in the new Millennium Centre upon its completion. KGV has now become a popular adult learning venue, particularly for courses in information technology. The College also has the distinction of being placed consistently in the top 10 Sixth Form and FE Colleges in the country for A Level results. During her 18 years of leadership, the College peaked at a total number of students of 1650 and during this time Hilary was awarded an OBE for her services to education.
In 2010 Hilary retired and Adele Wills took up the reins of leadership at the College. It is well documented how the period from then until 2015 was a difficult one for all those associated with the College, especially the staff, in light of Government funding, curricula changes and Education Department policy.
In 2015, after many years of strong governance leadership, John Rostron MBE retired from his position as Chairman of Governors after many years service to the College.
In 2016, Adele retired and handed over to Anne-Marie Francis who is managing a transition period where a proposed merger with Southport College is being reviewed.
Both Hilary and John were instrumental in the College’s most recent building addition, the new Arts building opened in the Summer of 2015.