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Borough of Wirral
Status: Metropolitan borough
Region: North West England
Ceremonial county: Merseyside
Historic county: Cheshire
- Total
Ranked 208th
157.05 km²
Admin. HQ: Wallasey
ONS code: 00CB
- Total (2005 est.)
- Density
Ranked 13th
1,994 / km²
Ethnicity: 98.3% White
Arms of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive: All party (3)
MPs: Ben Chapman, Angela Eagle, Frank Field, Stephen Hesford

Wirral is a metropolitan borough in Merseyside, North West England, which occupies the northern part of the Wirral Peninsula, more commonly known as The Wirral.

Wirral Metropolitan Borough has a population of about 311,235 (2004 estimate) in an area of 60 square miles (155 km²). It faces Liverpool over the River Mersey to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and the River Dee to the west.

Major towns and villages in the borough include Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bebington, Heswall and Hoylake. See also: Category:Towns and villages in Wirral


The borough was formed on April 1, 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the county boroughs of Birkenhead and Wallasey, along with the municipal borough of Bebington and the urban districts of Hoylake and Wirral. The area lies in the traditional county of Cheshire.

An opinion poll conducted by MORI in 2003 showed that 45% of people polled felt they "belong[ed] to" Merseyside "very strongly" (13%) or "fairly strongly", compared to a figure of 30% for Cheshire (17% of whom felt "very strongly"). 78% felt they strongly belonged to the Wirral council area. [1]


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Wirral at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[2] Agriculture[3] Industry[4] Services[5]
1995 2,089 10 674 1,405
2000 2,609 5 814 1,789
2003 3,020 9 755 2,256

  includes hunting and forestry

  includes energy and construction

  includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

  Components may not sum to totals due to rounding


When the borough was set up in 1974, it inherited comprehensive systems from the former County Boroughs of Birkenhead and Wallasey. In the part of Wirral formerly administered by Cheshire County Council, it inherited a selective system of grammar and secondary modern non-Roman Catholic schools and a comprehensive Roman Catholic school (St John Plessington Catholic College).

Until the implementation of the Education Reform Act 1988, education in Wirral continued to be organised in four areas; Birkenhead, Wallasey and the former parts of Cheshire known for education purposes as "Bebington" and "Deeside". However this Act introduced "open enrolment", allowing parents from anywhere in the borough, and outside it, to apply for a place for their child at any secondary school. As a result significant numbers of pupils from the former "comprehensive areas" attend schools in the former "selective areas" and vice versa. The distinction between different types of school was to an extent masked, as all secondary modern and most comprehensive schools were named "High School". As a further result of this Act, St Anselm's College and Upton Hall Convent School, both within the Birkenhead education area, became the first and only independent schools in the country to become state funded Grant Maintained schools, retaining selective admissions policies to become Roman Catholic grammar schools.

A further change came as a result of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, which effectively changed secondary modern schools into comprehensives as schools were no longer permitted to select by examination failure. In summary, Wirral now has a state secondary sector made up of 16 comprehensive schools (of which two are Roman Catholic) and 6 grammar schools (of which two are Roman Catholic).

Ofsted publishes an annual list of schools that it has judged to be "particularly successful". Wirral secondary schools which have appeared in that list are: Calday Grange Grammar School (2001-6, Pensby High School for Girls (2000/1), Plessington Catholic Technology College (1997/8), Ridgeway High School (2000/1), St Anselm's College (1999/2000 and 2004/5), St Mary's Catholic College (2001/2), West Kirby Grammar School (1994/5), Wirral Grammar School for Girls (1997/8 and 2003/4) and Woodchurch High School Engineering College (1998/9 and 2004/5). Ofsted has not inspected any of Wirral's independent schools.

See also: Category:Schools in Wirral

Parliamentary constituencies[]

  • Birkenhead
  • Wallasey
  • Wirral South
  • Wirral West

See also: List of Parliamentary constituencies on Merseyside


External links[]

Metropolitan County of Merseyside

City of Liverpool
Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley | Metropolitan Borough of Sefton | Metropolitan Borough of St Helens | Metropolitan Borough of Wirral