BRGS is a very popular, selective, 11-18 Foundation school with a large Sixth Form. The school is situated on a hillside overlooking the Rossendale Valley in the village of Waterfoot, between Rawtenstall and Bacup.

Towards the end of the 17th century, land was bequeathed by a certain John Kershaw to endow a school in the Waterfoot area of Rossendale. The school was eventually opened in 1701 and later moved to better premises across the valley in Newchurch. By the end of the 19th century, Newchurch Grammar School had established a sound reputation. The teachers of that school became the nucleus of the new staff at the Bacup and Rawtenstall Secondary and Technical School (later to change its name to Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School) which opened on the present site in 1913. The headmaster of Newchurch Grammar School became the first head of the new school. Significantly, there have been only six headteachers since his retirement.

Plans to reorganise the school were long in preparation. The first serious proposal in the early 1980's, to make the school part of local further education college, was fiercely resisted and finally defeated. The second attempt, in 1985, to recognise along comprehensive lines and amalgamate the school with one of its neighbouring secondary modern schools came too late. The tide had already turned against the wholesale destruction of schools of proven worth. The move to grant-maintained status in 1989 was a clear mark of the lively interest of the governing body and the deep affection with which the school was, and is, held by parents.

In 1991, Technology College status was awarded to BRGS, subsequently changing to a Maths And Computing specialism.

In 1991, grant-maintained status was abolished by the government of the day and the school became a Foundation School.

Today we can look back with pride upon the dedication and long service of the staff of the school and the achievements of its former students. We can speak with certainty of its present vitality. We can look forward with confidence to its future, knowing that its qualities of dedication and academic excellence, along with its students' consideration for one another and for the community at large, will be maintained and passed on to future generations of Rossendale children.

A History of BRGS

Chapter 1-4

Chapter 5-8

Chapter 9-12

Chapter 13-16


Newchurch Grammar School History 1

Newchurch Grammar School History 2

© Copyright 2015–2021 Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School