The College

Ratcliffe College is a private school in Leicestershire founded in 1847 by the Institute of Charity. Founder Antonio Rosmini was renowned as an educational innovator and that spirit has propelled the College forward ever since.

The College ‘Victorian Gothic’ buildings were designed by Augustus Welby Pugin, who co-operated with Sir Charles Barry on the design of the Houses of Parliament. The buildings have been continuously added to, a process which continues today, preserving the glories of the old buildings whilst adding the modern teaching and boarding accommodation our students now require.

Read more about the founding of the college here.

Co-education was a major milestone in the development of the College. Girls were admitted to the Sixth Form in 1977 and full co-education was introduced in 1984. In 1998 a Nursery for 3-5 year-olds was opened and in 2001 the development of the Junior School for 5-11 year-olds was completed. In September 2014, a new state-of-the art Preparatory School building was opened for our 5-11 year-olds.  Alongside our Senior School for 11-18 year-olds, these innovations mean that Ratcliffe College offers a rounded and fulfilling continuous education for students from aged 3-18 on a single campus.

Strong Foundations. Bright Future.

Our vision is to educate young people in the spirit of the Gospel and the traditions of the Catholic Church, seeking to nurture the God-given talents and potential of each individual so that each one may become a confident, responsible and useful member of society.  Whilst we operate as a Catholic School, we welcome children of other denominations and faiths whose parents feel they can share in, and benefit from, the ideals and environment of our school.

One of the greatest strengths of Ratcliffe College is that it provides the expertise and resources to enable boys and girls to fulfil their potential in all aspects of their education. The College places great emphasis on the development of the whole person. Academic achievement will always be paramount, but personal fulfilment and growth through a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities are also of fundamental importance.

In recent years a major investment programme has refurbished and extended the teaching and learning accommodation. Modern and spacious facilities are now in place for all subjects. Alongside strong academic achievement, The Arts and Sport have important roles in College life.  The Music Department has specialist teaching rooms and twelve practice rooms equipped with either pianos or electric organs, which complement the pipe organ and Steinway grand piano in the well-equipped Concert Hall and the Willis organ in the Chapel. Art, Design and TechnologyMedia and Drama are very strong, bringing together creativity and up to date technology.

The modern Sports Centre offers an indoor swimming pool, a new gym and squash courts and the spacious grounds, together with the two floodlit all-weather pitches and athletics track, enable a wide variety of sports including Tennis, Hockey, Netball, Rugby, Athletics and Football.

Ratcliffe College invested £4.5 million in a new, state-of-the-art Preparatory School for its junior pupils, which was opened in September 2014. This provides the latest and best technology and teaching facilities for children aged 3-11 years, in the safe, secure and beautiful setting of the College’s 200-acre estate in North Leicestershire.

The College offers several academic scholarships and similar awards for Art, Music, Drama and Sport. Click here for more details on scholarships.


Why I chose Ratcliffe

“Ratcliffe has a special something that is impossible to define!  There is a wonderful atmosphere that is welcoming and caring.  The community feel is very important and the students come across as confident without being arrogant.  The relationship between staff and students is quite unique and my daughter has learnt respect, quiet confidence and has always felt comfortable to approach the staff with any problems. I think that one of the most wonderful aspects is that success is celebrated by everyone – no one is made to feel a “geek” because they do well.  All talents are valued not only academic.  Another quite unique aspect is that the different year groups mix well together.  All together a wonderful caring community that values each member!”
Year 13 parent