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|Motto||Legis Plenitudo Charitas
(Charity is the fulfilment of the law)
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (Rosminians)|
|Headmaster||Mr. Gareth P. Lloyd|
|Founder||Blessed Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati|
|DfE URN||120316 Tables|
|Former pupils||Old Ratcliffians|
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. 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 2009–2010 academic years, there were 675 students on roll at Ratcliffe, from ages 3 to 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 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.
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.
The Head is presently assisted by a Senior Deputy Head (Mrs Clayfield) and a Second Deputy Head (Mr. Reddin), who take responsibility for academic and pastoral concerns respectively. They are joined on a 'Senior Leadership Team' by the Assistant Head, Director of Finance and Head of the Junior School.
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 – 1999
- Mr. Peter Farrar 1999 – 2009
- Mr. Gareth Lloyd 2009 – present
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. 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.
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) St Michael, St Francis, St Maria Goretti, St Ignatius, St, Dominic, St David
- Leetham (named for Father Claude Leetham, a former President) St Patrick, St Kieran, St John of the Cross, St Francis Xavier, St Peter, St Michael
- De Lisle (named for Ambrose De Lisle, early patron of the College and Catholic revivalist) St Joseph, St Kevin, St Barnabas, St Chad,
- Arundel (named for Lady Arundel, an early patron of the College and relative of Catholic Duke of Norfolk) St Stephen, St Canice, St Pio, St Gregory, St Thomas Aquinas
Ratcliffe is well known for good GCSE and A-Level results with the school appearing in the top 500 schools in the country
Former pupils of Ratcliffe are known as Old Ratcliffians. They include:
- Terence Alexander, film and television actor
- Ian Bannen, noted Scottish actor and Oscar Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (1965)
- Peter Caruana, QC, former Chief Minister of Gibraltar
- Louis Deacon, England and Tigers rugby player
- François Grosjean, psycholinguist and researcher on bilingualism
- Patrick McGoohan, American-born actor of Irish parentage who rose to fame in the British film and TV industry: starring in the 1960s television series Danger Man and cult classic The Prisoner.
- Kevin Myers, Irish journalist
- Patrick Nuttgens, noted architect, CBE
- Sir Gordon Reece, former advisor to Margaret Thatcher
- The Rt. Hon Lord St John of Fawsley, PC, former Conservative minister under Margaret Thatcher
- Richard Wallace, Editor of the Daily Mirror
- Luke Wright, Sussex CCC, and England Cricketer.
- Ratcliffe College 1847–1947 edited by Rev. C. R. Leetham with an Appendix at the back entitled 'Alphabetical List of Students 1847–1950'