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The History of The King David Schools   2010

This film has been produced and directed by Michael Sprince and Louis Collins.

On December 17th, 1840. Six gentlemen gathered at the Angel Hotel on Dale Street to establish a committee of inquiry into the educational needs of the ‘poor of the Hebrew faith’ in Liverpool. They were Henry Daniel, Louis Samuel, David Behrend, Ralph Hess, Moss Joseph and Solomon Brandeis

As a result of this meeting, Jewish Schools began in Liverpool when The Hope Place School was established in 1854. Amongst the Headteachers were Mr. M. Kaye, Mr. S. I. Levy, Edward Conway and later John Wiener.

A century later in 1957 the King David High School was built on the Childwall site. The first Head was Bernard Fisher followed  by Charles Beebe, Phillip Skelker, Clive Lawton, Vivienne Canter, John Smartt and, most recently Brigid Smith was appointed in 2005.

The Primary School was opened in 1964 and the then Head of Hope Place, John Wiener was appointed as Head Master. At that time the Hope Place building was closed.  John Wiener was followed in 1984 by Naomi Kingston, then  Liz Spencer and Rachel Rick was appointed in 2007.

The Kindergarten was established by the King David Foundation at Harold House in 1984, its first Headteacher was Golda Steinberg and is currently run by Rose Shiffman.

The School Governors are assisted by the King David Foundation and active PTA’s. There was also a very active Old Boys Association. Who could forget “the Goody Bags??”.

Through the Shifrin Foundation, an excellent music department was established. Over the years the schools have enjoyed great academic achievement. During this time, as a reflection of the changing demographics in Liverpool, the number of Jewish pupils has diminished. Despite this the Jewish ethos of the school has become even stronger.

In 2010 a £25 Million development was begun to build a new school campus which will integrate the Kindergarten, Primary School, High School and Harold House Community Centre all in one building. This project was the result of the dedicated effort of the school governors, lead by Max Steinberg, assisted by Alan Tinger, many others and the Liverpool City council.

The new campus is being built on the site of King David playing fields. When this is completed, all the current buildings, with the exception of the swimming pool, will then be demolished. The High School site will be converted into sports pitches and the Primary School site will be replaced with a housing estate. After relocating, children at High school, Primary school and kindergarten will have mainly separate learning areas. Instead of a traditional assembly hall and dining room, a large atrium will be created, to be used throughout the day for meetings, meals and drama classes for different age groups. The school kitchens will follow strict kosher guidelines This will be an education building and kosher facilities available to all.

The history of Jewish education in Liverpool over the years and this exciting new development is charted in an hour long DVD which includes interviews and anecdotes from Staff and Pupils, past and present. The DVD also contains a slide show of photographs and excerpts from the 2008 production of Fiddler on the Roof.

A DVD (approximately 1 hour long) is available from the producers. Tel: 0151 722 2284   or  0151 727 5536



All the production costs have been donated by the producers.  All of the profits will be donated to charity.