Innovation, creativity and possibility-thinking have always been part of Priory's unique culture even since its beginnings in 1975. Its first Head Teacher was the inspirational and courageous Ex-World War 2 veteran Arthur Spencer.

1977 New Site

In 1977 the school moved to its new purpose built site on Queensway

1980 First Leavers

The first ever students to join the school left in 1980 and a year later student numbers increased with year groups taking 240 students.

1982 World Attention

In its early years the school received many visitors from all over the world – drawn by its innovative curriculum and faculty-block timetable. The innovative nature of the school attracted the Open University to make a TV programme and study module. This brought more fame to the school – and more visitors.

1985 Retirement of the first Headteacher

In 1985 the first Head of the school Arthur Spencer retired from his post. David Dennis became the Acting Head and subsequently the permanent Headteacher.

1995 A Community School

Priory became a “Community School” – the first in the county.

1998 A Technology College

Priory was the first school in North Somerset to gain specialist status as a Technology College.

2000 David Dennis retires

In April 2000, David Dennis retired after 15 years as Head and nearly 25 years employment at the school. Deputy Head, Ron Richards was Acting Head for the summer term 2000 and Paul MacIntyre became the schools third substantive Head when he took up his post in September 2000.

2003 Changes of Leadership

In December 2003, Paul MacIntyre left Priory to take up a second Headship. His place was taken by Ron Richards, first as Acting Head and subsequently from September 2004 as substantive Head.

2007 New Head Teacher

Ron Richards retired as Head Teacher and Neville Coles, previously Deputy Head at the school became the school’s fifth Head Teacher.

2011 Academy Trust

PCSA became one of the first schools in the country to become became an Academy Trust, known as PCSA.

2012 The Sir Richard Branson Centre

Sir Richard Branson sent his congratulations via video link to the 1200 students when the new SEND centre was built and named after him.

The school was 23rd in the UK for 'sustained improvement'.

2014 Ofsted Outstanding

Priory was judged an “Outstanding School” - the first in Weston-super-Mare's history. Branson and Deborah Meaden send congratulation messages. The exceptional Paula Radcliffe Centre was also built.

2015 Priory's 40th Birthday

Hundreds of people attended Priory's 40th birthday including the five head teachers. GCSE results were breaking all records and the school was heavily oversubscribed.

2016 The Priory Learning Trust

The school became a Multi Academy Trust with Neville Coles as the Executive Principal and Jane McBride as Head of School. It starts to support and assist Worle Community School.


In 2018 Neville Coles is the Executive Principal. The Trust, as of April 2018, has 4 academies within its Trust. Priory, Worle, St Anne’s and Castle Batch. The Trust has 570 staff. There are 4 individual Principals / Heads at each Academy. The MAT is aligning its systems. Planned growth is for The King Alfred School, Highbridge and Pawlett Primary, near Bridgwater to become academies and join TPLT in 2018-19. This will take student numbers to 4,723 and staffing over 700.