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Ratcliffe College is an independent Catholic boarding and day school in Leicestershiremarker, Englandmarker. The College, situated in of parkland on the Fosse Way about six miles (10 km) north of Leicestermarker, 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 2009-2010 academic years, there were 675 students on roll at Ratcliffe, from ages 3-18.

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 Westminstermarker. The Square was designed by 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.


The school, operated officially by Rosmini's Institute of Charity, originally used 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, who still holds the position.

The head is presently assisted by a Deputy Headmaster (Mr. Reddin) and a Deputy Headmistress (Mrs. Clayfield), who take responsibility for pastoral and academic concerns respectively. They are joined on a 'Senior Management Team' by the Head of Sixth Form and the Curriculum Co-ordinator.
Ratcliffe College, the front

Former Presidents and Headmasters

  • Father Peter Hutton IC 1851 - 1880
  • Father Joseph Hirst IC 1880 - 1895
  • Father Joseph Cremonini IC 1895 - 1919
  • Father Aloysius Emery IC 1919 - 1923
  • Father Cuthbert Emery IC, MA 1923 - 1948
  • Father Claude Leetham IC, BA 1948 - 1962
  • Father John Morris IC 1962, MA, BSc 1962 - 1973
  • Father Anthony Baxter IC, MA 1973 - 1982
  • Father William Fearon IC, BA 1982 - 1983
  • Father Lancelot Hurdidge IC, BA 1983 - 1993
  • Father Keith Tomlinson IC, MA 1993 - 1996
  • Mr. Timothy Kilbride 1996 - 2000
  • Mr. Peter Farrar 2000-2009
  • Mr. Gareth Lloyd 2009-Present

House system

Although the College has used various house systems throughout its history, the current system was resurrected in 1991. There is no strong house rivalry, as in many other independent schools, due to the nature of the school as both coeducational and containing a mix of boarding and day students.

Currently, there are four houses named after major figures in the College's history:

  • Emery (named for Father Cuthbert Emery, a former President)
  • Leetham (named for Father Claude Leetham, a former President)
  • De Lisle (named for Ambrose De Lisle, early patron of the College and Catholic revivalist)
  • Arundel (named for Lady Arundel, an early patron of the College and relative of Catholic Duke of Norfolk)
CCF in the Square

Ratcliffe is well known for good GCSE and A-Level results with the school appearing in the top 500 schools in the country

Old Ratcliffians

The Old Ratcliffians - that is, the alumni of Ratcliffe College - currently count among their number:


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

External links



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