Innovating in education for 100 years
Mike Tonge, Executive Headteacher of Prestolee Primary and Chair of the Greater Manchester Executive Group, understands that for children to access a first class education, they need access to first class teaching.
Prestolee SCITT is committed to delivering the highest quality training to produce the very best teachers, and therefore give children the first class education they deserve.
The man who started #TeamPresto
Edward (Teddy) F. O’Neill was the Headteacher of Prestolee Primary School from 1919-1953, and a pioneer of innovative teaching. Not afraid of backlash from the LA, he battled on with his belief that children required freedom, trust and discovery to learn. In addition to breaking with the tradition of same-old rote, Prestolee Primary School developed a community centre called the ‘Palace of Youth’; a playground constructed by the children containing a windmill, water gardens and a paddling pool. A yearly calendar of community events and widely attended illuminations. The school, the Headmaster and his innovative systems gained national recognition, and in 1950 Teddy received an MBE for his services to education.
The school was opened on 25th September 1911. It was then known as Outwood and Kearsley Council School and there were 246 children in attendance. Children were jammed together into rows of long desks with over sixty pupils in each classroom.
During the ninety years that the school has been opened there have been only five headteachers. The first headteacher was Mr J Slack. He was replaced in 1918 by Mr E F (Teddy) O’Neil who at 28 years old became the youngest headteacher ever appointed in Lancashire.
On arriving at Prestolee Teddy O’Neil introduced progressive methods and his controversial methods led him into dispute with the Local Education Authority. He encouraged children to learn by experience rather than doing lessons all day, every day.
Just like the former Headteacher, Prestolee continues to aim high and be at the forefront of educational innovation. Under the unwavering leadership of Mike Tonge, Prestolee Primary School is now:
• An outstanding primary school
• An accredited provider of Initial Teacher Training (Prestolee SCITT)
• The Lead School in the newly established Prestolee Multi Academy Trust
• A National Teaching School