St. Peter’s School was founded next to the Church in 1872. At the time Government regulation stated that if the Church did not provide an adequate school for local needs then the local School Board would step in to ensure such provision. Many Church schools were founded at this time to meet these requirements. Lord Radnor donated the land for the school, as he had for the Church, and the Mayor of Folkestone, Councillor John Hoad, laid the foundation stone in April 1872. The School opened in October the same year. Over 200 people attended the tea and concert held by Father Ridsdale in celebration.
The Church and the School have had close ties ever since. The Vicar is closely involved with the daily life of the school and the Church also provides a Governor. Some of the current School buildings and parking facilities are also leased from the Church. The School uses the Church regularly for assemblies and weekly Mass. In addition, the Church and School combine services for special occasions such as School Sunday, Mothering Sunday or Christingle.
St. Mary’s School was founded in 1854 and built on Church land on Warren Road. Canon Matthew Woodward, Vicar of the Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe, had become concerned at the lack of schools in the rapidly expanding town. He persuaded Lord Radnor to donate land for a new school, just as he would later on for the founding of the Chapel of St. Peter and St. Peter’s School. The school continues to have close ties to the Church of St. Mary and St. Eanswythe but as it now finds itself in the ‘newer’ Parish of St. Peter, the Vicar of St. Peter’s also takes a regular part in the life of the school. The School also visits the Church as part of their curriculum work.
Today, St, Mary’s School has become a Church founded Academy that still follows a strong Christian ethos and promotes the Christian character of the school through all areas of its work from curriculum design through to school leadership.