Nicholas Breakspear School

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Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School
Mottoes "Per Tuas Semitas"
Established 1963
Type academy
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Mr Clive Mathew[1]
Chair of governors Mrs L Graham[1]
Location Colney Heath Lane
St Albans
England, UK Coordinates: 51°44′51″N 0°17′20″W / 51.74747°N 0.28881°W / 51.74747; -0.28881
DfE URN 117584 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 124
Students 1025[1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Navy blue and yellow

Nicholas Breakspear School is a secondary school with academy status situated on the rural fringe of St Albans, an old Roman city in Hertfordshire, England. As of 2013 there were 900 students on its roll, including 181 in the sixth form.[1] This represented a drop of approximately 200 since the 2009 OFSTED inspection

In 2013 the school was rated as inadequate by OFSTED and placed under special measures. The standards of attainment of students entering the school in year 7 was broadly average while GCSE results in most subjects were below average. In some subjects results were substantially below average (additional sciences, design and technology, modern languages, physical education, business studies ). The progress of students in mathematics was considered acceptable and GCSE results in this area were broadly average. History represented one few areas in which results were better then might reasonably be expected given the intake of students. The proportion of A-Levels students achieving high grades was also deemed to be unacceptable by the 2013 OFSTED report. The 2013 OFSTED inspectors noted that results declined between 2012 and 2013. The 2013 inspection saw little or no evidence that standards were improving.

The first monitoring visit following the imposition of special measures revealed uneven, if substantive progress, in addressing the inspectors concerns.

In addition to problems raised by the OFSTED the school faced longer term problems in recruiting students.

The school takes its name from the 12th Century priest Nicholas Breakspeare, who, as Pope Adrian IV, is the only Englishman ever to have occupied the papal chair. Its current headteacher is Mr Clive Mathew, with the deputy headteacher being Mrs Whittle.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d Ofsted 2009 Inspection Report


OFSTED (2009)School Report: Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School, (

OFSTED (2013) School Report: Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School, (

OFSTED (2014)Special Measures Monitoring Inspection of Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School