As a result of the Education Act 1944, Walney Island needed to have its own secondary school. The present Sandy Gap site was agreed in 1951 and the school built. Lord Cavendish opened the school’s new Sensory Garden in 2003.
At GCSE and GNVQ, the school is ranked 33rd out of the forty-seven secondary schools in Cumbria. It has no Sixth Form, so does not teach at ‘A’-level. Walney School achieved Specialist Engineering Status in 2009.
In Winter 2010 Walney School began to expand the school, by building a £6m redevelopment and extension.It will has 10 new classrooms, two music rooms, two art rooms and an additional science block.The single storey classrooms also have a Sedam turf roof, with plants growing on top to have an environmental and visual appeal.