Ratcliffe College

Ratcliffe College is a coeducational Catholic independent boarding and day school in the village of Ratcliffe on the Wreake, Leicestershire, approximately 7 miles (11 km) from Leicester, England. The college, situated in 100 acres (0.40 km2) of parkland on the Fosse Way about six miles (10 km) north of Leicester, was founded on the instructions of Blessed Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati in 1845 as a seminary. In 1847, the buildings were converted for use as a boarding school for upper-class boys. The college became coeducational under the presidency of Father Tony Baxter in the mid-1970s. As of the 2018–2019 academic years, there were 850 students on roll at Ratcliffe, from ages 3 to 18.[1]

Ratcliffe College
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Coordinates52°43′46″N 1°04′33″W / 52.7294°N 1.0758°W / 52.7294; -1.0758Coordinates: 52°43′46″N 1°04′33″W / 52.7294°N 1.0758°W / 52.7294; -1.0758
TypeIndependent day and boarding
MottoLegis Plenitudo Charitas
(Charity is the fulfilment of the law)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic (Rosminians)
Established1845; 175 years ago (1845)
FounderBlessed Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati
Department for Education URN120316 Tables
HeadmasterJonathan Reddin
Age3 to 18
Colour(s)navy blue
PublicationThe Ratcliffian
Former pupilsOld Ratcliffians

The school buildings were designed by the Victorian Gothic revivalist Augustus Welby Pugin. Pugin, who is associated with Catholic architecture throughout the Midlands and north of England, is also noted for his collaboration with Charles Barry in the reconstruction of the Palace of Westminster. The Square was designed by Charles Francis Hansom, brother of Joseph Hansom, the designer of the Hansom cab. various building works over the years have contributed to Pugin and Hansom's work, and modern buildings include a "new" gothic refectory (constructed in the early years of the twentieth century) and a Byzantine-style church.s


The school, operated by Rosmini's Institute of Charity, used to use the title "Father President" for the most senior member of staff who, up until 1996, was always a Father of the Institute. In 1996, the school appointed its first lay President, Tim Kilbride, and the position was renamed Headmaster. He was succeeded in 2000 by Peter Farrar and then in 2009 by Gareth Lloyd. Its current Headmaster is Mr Jonathan Reddin who took up the post in January 2017.

Ratcliffe College, the front

Former Presidents and HeadmastersEdit

Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)Edit

Ratcliffe College is regularly inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). This is the body approved by the Department of Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to Independent Schools Council (ISC) Associations and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations.

A team of ten inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate spent four days examining every aspect of school life. You can download and read the complete report at: www.isi.net/schools/6822/.[2]

The School received 'Excellent' report in all 9 categories:

  • Pupils’ achievements and learning
  • Curricular and extra-curricular provision
  • Teaching
  • Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • Pastoral care
  • Welfare, health and safety provision
  • Boarding
  • Governance
  • Leadership and management, including links with parents

Partnership with Leicester City Football ClubEdit

In January 2015 Ratcliffe agreed a deal to educate 16 Thai students who had been selected by Leicester City FC to come to Leicester and who would benefit from regular exposure to the Academy facilities at Leicester City. Ratcliffe's Head of Boys' Boarding and former Director of Sport is ex-LCFC player, Phil Gilchrist.

Cricket groundEdit

The college cricket ground is used by the college cricket team. The first recorded use of the ground came in 1948, when Ratcliffe College played King Edward's School, Birmingham.[3] The ground has also played host to a single List-A match, when the Leicestershire Cricket Board played Denmark in the 1st round of the 2003 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy which was played in 2002.[4]

School Combined Cadet Force in the Square


Former pupils of Ratcliffe are known as Old Ratcliffians. They include:



  • Ratcliffe College 1847–1947 edited by Rev. C. R. Leetham with an Appendix at the back entitled 'Alphabetical List of Students 1847–1950'[1]

External linksEdit

  1. ^ From a copy of book published by the Ratcliffian Association in 1950 which contains black-and-white photographs