STAFF at the historic Kingsmead school in Hoylake are celebrating the start of a new era after parents helped to raise half a million pounds in just 24 hours to secure its future.

Governors are liaising with representatives from the supporting group to discuss the details of an alternative arrangement, which will in time take over the running of the school.

Praising the remarkable efforts of parents and staff in raising the vital funds in such a short space of time, headmaster Mark Gibbons looked forward to the start of a new chapter in the school’s 116-year history.

He added: "It was a remarkable effort and shows the strength and resilience of our Kingsmead community, which continues to feel more like an extended family.

"Our thanks go out to every individual who has supported us including parents, staff and our alumni, all of whom have shown so clearly that they continue to believe in the life-changing impact of a Kingsmead education.

"This school is unique indeed, we are delighted to know that children will continue to thrive here and we look forward to welcoming many more new pupils in the future."

Louise Roper, a member of the supporting group added: "This is the beginning of a new phase for Kingsmead and we are delighted to be able to secure the future of the school.

"As parents of the school we have seen the transformative effects that the teaching and support provided at Kingsmead can have on children's lives, and we are keen to see more pupils fulfilling their potential and benefitting from the enriched and pupil-centred education that is offered."

A spokesperson for the school said Kingsmead's approach to 'enhanced learning' has produced "an exceptional academic record, with GCSE and 11+ pass rates of over 80%.

"The Sixth Form provides 1:1 tuition at A Level, a level of individual support rarely seen elsewhere in the region.

"Early Years education is also available from Kindergarten to Reception, ages 2 to approximately five) currently with 15 hours of free nursery education grant funding offered, progressing to 30 hours from September 2020. Wrap-around care is also available at Holiday Club and after-school club for all ages, 49 weeks a year."