Aug 04


Harington School is a step closer to becoming a reality.

In early July, the proposer schools, Uppingham Community College, Oakham School and Catmose College, were invited to attend an interview with the Department for Education (DfE) in London.

They answered questions from a panel of senior officials with extensive knowledge of free schools policy, and advisers from the fields of education, finance and business.

Principal at Catmose College, Stuart Williams, said “it was a particularly positive interview which gave us the opportunity to explore Harington School with the DfE and discuss Rutland’s need for an academic sixth form.”

After the interview, a representative from the DfE subsequently visited the area to assess the suitability of possible locations.

“This is a very important moment for education in Rutland. I am delighted that such serious consideration is being given to our proposal,” says Jan Turner, Principal at Uppingham Community College.

The proposed school aims to provide a rigorous A Level academic education for 300 local pupils (150 intake per year) at a time when the number of pupils aged 15-19 in Rutland is due to reach 3000 (by 2015).

Nigel Lashbrook, Headmaster at Oakham School, added, “Harington School will give young people in Rutland even more choice in how they develop academically post-16.”

The team will know if they are successful, or if there are any next steps, early in the autumn term.

If Harington School is approved by the DfE, the bid team’s next steps will be appointing the Head of School, finalising the site and appointing staff to deliver the curriculum.

Apr 01


Alan Duncan MP visits Catmose College

On Friday 21 March, Local MP Alan Duncan visited Catmose College and met with Stuart Williams.

They discussed the College’s progress and Mr Williams briefed Mr Duncan on the bid for Harington School.

Alan said: “I was very pleased to be able to visit Catmose College again. The school is clearly going from strength to strength and it is good to see the clear evidence of those improvements.”

Stuart Williams commented that “it was great to catch up with Alan and have the opportunity to discuss with him why Harington School is so important to the young people of Rutland, so that they can access a local provision that will enable them to be successful at our best universities.”

Mar 17


Oakham School backs Harington

We are pleased to announce that Oakham School is to join Catmose College and Uppingham Community College in sponsoring Harington School, the newly proposed Sixth Form Free School.


For more details please visit



Feb 14


Harington bid approved!

We have reached a significant milestone this week in our bid for Harington School, an academic sixth form for Rutland. We have been accepted onto the New Schools Network development programme.

This programme has an 80% success rate in supporting schools to reach approval by the Department for Education; this is therefore a significant step towards having an academic sixth form for Rutland students.

If you have not yet expressed an interest please do so by following the link below. We would not have got this far without your support and need it more than ever going forward.

Feb 10


Harington Bid

We recently submitted our bid to the new schools network, this is a critical development to address a need for many of our students. This article contains a summary and links to the complete bid.

Harington School support

Section 1a: Rationale In the first section of the bid, the rationale behind Catmose College and Uppingham Community College’s decision to apply to open a post-16 free school in Rutland is outlined.  It illustrates Rutland’s need for a new provision to better service the county’s more academic students, as well as those from a poor socio-economic background. Graphs illustrate the choices being made by local students in their decision of where to continue their studies, as a vast majority are choosing to leave the county. The results currently being achieved by sixth form students at the local provision are also detailed and compared to the national benchmark. This also demonstrates how these students are also disadvantaged when it comes to applying for places at the best universities. Click to view

Section 1b: Vision The concept for Harington School is described in the following section.  It focuses on the bid team’s vision surrounding the School’s environment, ethos, quality of education and opportunities that will be available to students.  The curriculum provision is outlined, along with the extra-curricular activities and responsibilities that will be expected of students.  Harington School’s requirements surrounding potential locations are also mentioned. Click to view

Section 1c: Targets Four key targets for Harington School are set out in the third section of the bid.  They surround A Level achievements in facilitator subjects, offers from top universities, retention and Ofsted grading.  These targets are expanded upon with detailed information surrounding the subjects that would be offered at A Level.  The tutor system and extra-curricular courses are delineated, as well as the way in which students will benefit from them. Roles within Harington School are also explained within this section, including responsibilities surrounding Teaching & Learning, quality assurance, work experience and student progression. Click to view

Section 1d: Governance Structure The following section sets out the proposed governance structure and responsibilities surrounding aims and objectives, educational vision, admissions, finances, staffing and ensuring regulations are complied to. It also outlines how the Local Governing Body will oversee the School, to ensure that it provides a relevant service to the local community. Click to view

Jan 24


Post 16 Performance Tables

The department for education has published the latest performance tables for post-16 providers  on 23 January 2014 which are a useful indicator regarding the achievements of students who achieved results in the summer of 2013, this information was taken directly from that source. In each of the tables the providers name can be clicked on to access full information via the department for education. They should be read alongside where students progress to which can be viewed here and of course the experiences of other students and by visiting the provision in person.

A Level Course Performance
The following table and chart shows the performance of the main providers for A level courses locally.

This graph shows the performance of each provider at A level for the key indicators of AAB grades.

Post 16 Performance Tables 2014 A level

The table below is sorted according to Average Points Score, the points awarded are: A* = 300, A = 270, B = 240, C = 210, D = 180, E = 150, U = 0.

Type ▼ Average point score per A level entry Average point score per A level entry expressed as a grade Average point score per A level student (full-time equivalent) % of A level students achieving
at least 3 A levels at A*-E at least 2 A levels at A*-E at least 1 A level at A*-E A levels at grades AAB or higher (in at least 2 facilitating subjects) A levels at grades AAB or higher (in 3 facilitating subjects)
England – all schools and colleges 215.6 C+ 796.5 80.5% 92.9% 99.7% 15.3% 9.6%
England – state funded schools and colleges 211.3 C 782.3 79.0% 92.3% 99.6% 12.1% 7.5%
Uppingham School Independent School 250.1 B+ 921.8 99% 99% 100% 42% 21%
Oakham School Independent School 248.0 B+ 868.3 93% 99% 100% 39% 20%
Stamford High School Independent School 234.1 B- 818.8 97% 100% 100% 22% 7%
The King’s (the Cathedral) School Academy – Converter Mainstream 232.3 B- 1048.5 98% 100% 100% 29% 18%
Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School Academy – Converter Mainstream 230.7 B- 1028.9 98% 100% 100% 37% 19%
The King’s School, Grantham Academy – Converter Mainstream 220.7 C+ 992.2 97% 100% 100% 24% 16%
Brooke Weston Academy Academy Sponsor Led 217.4 C+ 786.0 55% 83% 100% 7% 5%
Belvoir High School and Melton Vale Post 16 CentrePhase information Foundation School 213.2 C 842.6 88% 94% 100% 9% 4%
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College Sixth Form College 209.5 C 803.5 93% 99% 100% 17% 11%
The City of Leicester College Community School 205.7 C 738.1 55% 86% 100% 5% 5%
Casterton Business & Enterprise College Academy – Converter Mainstream 200.7 C- 643.3 70% 93% 100% 7% 0%
Tresham College of Further and Higher Education General Further Education College 199.4 C- 622.6 81% 94% 100% 0% 0%
New College Stamford General Further Education College 191.0 D+ 664.2 84% 98% 100% 0% 0%

Vocational Course Performance
The following graph and table provide similar information for vocational courses.

Post 16 performance tables voc 2014

In this table which is sorted by average point score entry, a Distinction* (D*) = 270, Distinction (D) = 225, Merit (M) = 195, Pass (P) = 165, U = 0. Not all providers are included as either they enter no students or such a small number that the result is statistically unreliable.

School/College name ▼ Average point score per vocational entry Average point score per vocational entry expressed as a grade Average point score per vocational student (full-time equivalent) % of vocational students achieving
at least 3 substantial vocational qualifications at least 2 substantial vocational qualifications at least 1 substantial vocational qualification
England – all schools and colleges 213.7 D- 562.1 49.8% 69.9% 100.0%
England – state funded schools and colleges 213.6 D- 561.7 49.9% 69.9% 100.0%
Schools (tick the box next to a school/college to select it for comparison – once you have selected all required schools/colleges click here; Compare)
Brooke Weston Academy 259.0 D*- 920.1 23% 45% 100%
The City of Leicester College 239.2 D+ 802.3 23% 54% 100%
Belvoir High School and Melton Vale Post 16 CentrePhase information 229.1 D 814.4 7% 47% 100%
New College Stamford 214.9 D- 573.5 74% 81% 100%
Brooksby Melton College 210.8 D- 501.7 65% 65% 100%
Tresham College of Further and Higher Education 201.9 M+ 391.3 31% 43% 100%
Casterton Business & Enterprise College 197.3 M 563.6 86% 100% 100%

A film from the department for education which explains in greater detail this information.

Jan 23


Year 11 Destinations

Recently, we spoke to Year 11 students from Catmose College about their plans once they leave school. They all knew what grades they were aiming for and had well thought through plans for post-16 that were aspirational but achievable.

We spoke to them about the importance of remaining flexible, that the plans they have now may well need to change as they continue to grow and develop, or because of external factors beyond their control. They need to ensure that the courses and providers they choose now keep their options open and allow them the flexibility they will need in the future. In particular they should see the courses they have chosen now as a stepping stone to employment or university and their choices need to be ones that do not close a future career path, for example, ensuring they continue to study at least two of the academic subjects they are currently studying if they are considering university.

Finally, we reinforced the need to ensure that they did not simply aim for the entry requirement of their post-16 provider but ensured that they gained the highest possible grades in GCSE to make sure they are in a strong position for university and job applications.

The range of providers that students from Catmose College attend is broad and reflects the different needs they have, it is really important, therefore,  that they guarantee that where they are attending will meet their needs now and in the future.

Catmose College Intended Destinations 2011-2013

When making a decision on which provision to attend post-16 it is important that students and parents look at not only how well students perform (2013 results here) but also where students progress to after completing their courses. This following chart shows this but precludes CBECs Rutland County College and the Melton Vale provision as this information is not available from the department of education for 2011.

Destinations to HE from Post 16 Providers (2011)

Jan 17


Bid Submitted

Today we submitted our bid for Harington free school to the new schools network. If successful we will be aiming to submit our application to the department for education in May. Thank you to everyone who has already given us support we couldn’t have got this far without you.

Dec 20


Overwhelming Support

As part of the Department for Education (DfE) bid process requirements, the school has been named, a prospectus has been produced and a website built to illustrate the ethos and life of the school as if the bid has been successful.

Despite being live for only a short period of time, the support for Harington School via this website has been overwhelming, with interest for over 650 places already expressed. Additionally, a number of local dignitaries have indicated their support and offered help to ensure the success of the bid.

If you would like to express your interest in a place, please click here.

Due to the unique nature of a free school bid, there has understandably been some confusion about Harington School. For clarity:

  • - A free school is simply an academy like all the current Rutland colleges, making it a state funded, free to attend independent school.
  • - The purpose of the consultation is to determine the viability of the bid. We accept that like all schools, Harington School won’t be right for everyone.
  • - The significant majority of students from both sponsor schools Uppingham Community College and Catmose College are leaving Rutland to access a fee-free academic post 16 provision.
  • - Funding for a new free school comes directly from the DfE from a different budget and will not affect the funding for any other local provision.
  • - Data indicates that there will be considerable growth in families in Rutland over the next decade so more post 16 places will be required.
  • - The decision on the location of the School is entirely with the DfE. Although the sponsors can make suggestions, they have no say in the ultimate location, though it will of course be within Rutland.
  • - The bid does not provide vocational courses as they are already available locally.
  • - The curriculum will focus on the core academic subjects, providing courses that are necessary to access the most prestigious universities. This curriculum will be reviewed regularly as part of the on-going consultation to ensure it is always in the best interest of the students and their aspirations. It is likely the initial offer will be expanded.
  • - Although sponsored by Uppingham Community College and Catmose College, Harington School will a completely independent entity and run separately from the two Colleges. It will have its own board of governors, its own set of policies and its own head of school.


Through data obtained via a Freedom of Information request submitted to Casterton Business and Enterprise College (CBEC), in 2013 only 4 students attending Rutland County College achieved at least AAB grades, with 2 going on to attend a Russell Group university and only 2 students achieved at least AAB grades in 2012 with 1 going on to attend a Russell Group university. Achieving at least AAB grades is essential for students wishing to apply to the most prestigious universities. Harington School is being proposed to address this very real lack of academically focussed fee-free post 16 education within Rutland and will not be in direct competition with Rutland County College.

Dec 04


The Rationale

The first stage for our application to create the Harington School is an application to the New Schools Network, if our bid is accepted they will support our full application to the department for education, their support is critical with 84% of free schools accepted onto their programme ultimately being successful in 2012. A key part of the application process is demonstrating the need and support of parents for the proposed school, we are currently in the process of writing the rationale and I thought it would be useful to share our progress.

I have previously written about:


The data all points to the same conclusions, the most academic post-16 students of Rutland (those achieving 5 grade Bs at GCSE or higher) are currently poorly served by the current provision easily available to them. They have a stark choice; to travel for an hour or more or to pay significant fees to access independent schools; for students from a poor socio economic background neither of these choices is feasible. The situation is exasperated by the contrast with 11-16 provision where all provision is at least Good with outcomes reflecting some of the highest performance nationally.

The county of Rutland is the smallest nationally, falling into the sparse rural category and ONS data demonstrating an average income below that of the national average. The small size of the county and it sparse population makes transportation difficult and expensive making travel outside of the County difficult for all but the most determined. Students whose main need is to access applied or vocational courses are well served by a number of local FE providers based in Stamford and Melton. In order to access academic provision students need to travel to Leicester, Peterborough or Corby which for many students will involve travel times of over one hour each way.

The number of children projected to live in Rutland within the 15-19 age range is set to grow reaching 3000 by 2015 (from SNPP England 2008). This will place significant place pressure on the only provision currently available in the County, CBEC (Casterton Business and Enterprise College colloquially know as Rutland County College).

The outcomes for Rutland currently for the most able students is poor as is demonstrated by the latest Local Area Interactive Tool (LAIT) which can be accessed from

To best illustrate the need for a provision that better serves Rutland’s most academic students we have extracted key data from this tool. The Harington School provision we are proposing is designed to enable all students, but in particular those from lower socio economic backgrounds access to the best universities. This requires students to achieve the AAB grades at A level demanded from these institutions, Rutland is performing very poorly when this bench mark is considered over the three years CBEC has been managing state provision in Rutland as ‘Rutland County College’. The percentage of students achieving AAB in 201 was 9.9 %, in 2012 0% and in 2013 9.1 % this places the county in the lowest quartile, D significantly lower than our statistical neighbours (approx. 19%) and nationally (approx. 20%).


When looking at the performance of the most able, those achieving at least three grade A’s at A level there is a similar pattern. In 2011 only 4.2% and in 2012 0% of students achieved this bench mark.


In respect of the performance of students who are eligible for free school meals the picture is similarly worrying. In 2010 29% of Rutland students in this category achieved a level 3 qualification, in 2011 31% but in 2012 only 21% again placing the authority in lowest quartile of D. The county is now performing lower than the national, its statistical neighbours and the East Midlands. There is a similar pattern when looking at the inequality gap.


The data from the DFE for the last years clearly demonstrates a need for an academic provision locally such as the Harington School. We are proposing for it to become a reality, however we need the support of parents in order to demonstrate that there is also a demand for it. If you would like to support the proposal please complete the form on our support us page.


Stuart Williams