Countesthorpe Academy

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Countesthorpe Academy
Winchester Road

, ,

Coordinates52°33′14″N 1°09′32″W / 52.55385°N 1.15887°W / 52.55385; -1.15887Coordinates: 52°33′14″N 1°09′32″W / 52.55385°N 1.15887°W / 52.55385; -1.15887
MottoBe the best you can be
Established1974, 2016
TrustLIFE Multi-Academy Trust
Department for Education URN147902 Tables
Head TeacherCatharine Aitcheson[1]
Age11 to 18
PredecessorsCountesthorpe Community College
Leysland High School

Countesthorpe Academy (formerly Countesthorpe Leysland Community College) is a coeducational secondary school situated on the western edge of Countesthorpe in Leicestershire, England near the A426.


Countesthorpe Leysland Community College was formed in 2016 by the merger of Countesthorpe Community College and neighbouring Leysland High School. Countesthorpe Community College was established in 1970 with Tim McMullen as its first head, or warden, followed in 1972 by John Watts as head teacher. They both developed it as a progressive "open school".[2]

The school previously formed part of The South Leicestershire Learning Partnership, a multi-academy umbrella trust.[3] In March 2020 the school joined the LIFE Multi-Academy Trust and was renamed Countesthorpe Academy, however it continues to be led by Catherine Aitcheson.[4]


The school occupies the buildings previously used by its predecessor institutions. The former Countesthorpe Community College buildings are notable for their circular plan. The architect was John Barton of Farmer and Dark. The sculpture that was previously in the middle of the courtyard is one of three versions of Dunstable Reel by Phillip King.[5]

The seniors department of Birkett House School is located on the site of Countesthorpe Academy and its students attend lessons at the school and use its sports and catering facilities.[6]

Concerns and criticisms[edit]

In in July 2019 Countesthorpe Leysland Community College was judged to be "inadequate" by Ofsted. During the inspection, inspectors found serious failings in safeguarding and pupil well being, they discovered that many students feel unsafe at school, found poor behaviour exhibited by a significant group of pupils and they identified shortcomings in the quality of leadership offered by Principal Catherine Aitcheson and her senior leadership team.[7][8]

Concerns have also been raised about the poor quality of toilet facilities available at the college [9] which was reported in both local and national media.[10]

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • The band members of Kasabian are ex-students of the school. The school is mentioned by name in the BBC comedy series Big School, in series two, episode four, during a question and answer session about Kasabian.
  • Harvey Barnes, professional footballer[11]
  • Pete Morton, singer songwriter
  • Wayne Dobson, magician/entertainer


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Guardian 22 October 2007 Obituary: John Watts
  3. ^ "The South Leicestershire Learning Partnership – Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  4. ^
  5. ^ English Heritage research report 33-2012 Post-war school buildings Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-07-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Stevens, Samuel (26 May 2020). "Harvey Barnes: Time For Reflection". Leicester City FC. Retrieved 15 June 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • J. F. Watts (1977), The Countesthorpe Experience (Allen & Unwin), ISBN 0043730035

External links[edit]