Nottingham Bluecoat School

Nottingham Bluecoat School
The Nottingham Bluecoat School and Technology College
Established 1706
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mrs. S . Hampton
Founder Timothy Fenton
Specialism Technology College
Location Aspley Lane
Local authority Nottingham
DfE URN 122894
Ofsted Reports
Students 1585
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Braithwaite

Coordinates: 52°58′08″N 1°11′35″W / 52.96891°N 1.19292°W / 52.96891; -1.19292

The Nottingham Bluecoat School is a Church of England voluntary aided secondary school in the Aspley area of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, whose history dates back to 1706.[1] In 2007, the school had 1550 students aged six to eighteen, including 250 Sixth form students.[2] The full title of the school is The Nottingham Bluecoat School and Technology College.[3]

Since 2003, the school has had two campuses, one in Aspley and one in Wollaton.



The school was founded in 1706 as the first charity school in Nottingham. Under the guidance of the then rector of St. Peter's church, Timothy Fenton. Classes being taught in the porch of St. Mary's Church in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. On the 1 May 1707, the school moved to St. Mary's Gate.

In 1723, land that was given by William Thorpe on High Pavement in Weekday Cross was used and the school migrated there,[4] remaining for over a century.

Between 1853, the school moved to a purpose-built building on Mansfield Road in Nottingham.[5] The building is now the International Community Centre. A statue of a child in a latter-day Bluecoat uniform remains on the outside of the building. A road behind this site of the school is called Bluecoat Close.

In the period between the two World Wars, the school became a Grammar School[citation needed]. During the 1960s fund-raising was undertaken to acquire new property and to construct a purpose-built new school to allow for expansion including on-site sports fields. In 1967, the school relocated to the current premises on Aspley Lane in Aspley, two miles to the east of Nottingham. This allowed the school to increase the intake from one class to two classes (from 30 students to 60) resulting in the number of the pupils increasing to around 350 over a period of about five years. At the same time, the school assumed voluntary aided school status.

By 1978 the number of students had grown to 900 with the new status as a comprehensive school catering for eleven- to eighteen-year-olds. Two decades later, a further status change took place with the school being awarded Technology College status by the Department for Education and Skills enabling the school to receive additional funding for development Science, Mathematics and Information Technology education.

In 2003 Bluecoat was "twinned" with,[6] and then later took over the site of Margaret Glen-Bott School in the nearby Wollaton area. The site was renamed as The Nottingham Bluecoat School and Technology College: Wollaton Park Campus with the main Bluecoat site becoming the Aspley Lane Campus.[7] The two sites began to operate as a single school and share some administration resources including a single headteacher/principal for the two sites.


On 4 February 2008, Mr Max R Kay resigned from his position as the school's long-standing headteacher and principal,[8] following a fifteen-month long suspension and investigation relating to a financial probe regarding publicly funded building projects;[9][10][11] and the confirmed presence of Legionnaires' disease.[12][13][14] The investigation had started after the school's former Aspley Lane site manager, Kevin Darby, had raised issues through whistle-blowing channels;[12][13][15] Darby was initially suspended, then later handed a final written warning and subsequently dismissed for allegedly speaking to the media;[9][14][16] —despite the governors clearing him of gross misconduct relating to the financial irregularities discovered.[14][15] The official school statement on Kay's resignation read:

Mr Kay has resigned from his post as Principal of Bluecoat School after 16 years service. In December 2007 the Governing Body commissioned an investigation into allegations relating to financial monitoring and control at the school. The investigatory report was fully considered by a panel of Governors and they advised the Governing Body. Mr Kay had already indicated his intention to leave the school. It was agreed that no action should be taken.[12] Mr Kay is very grateful for the support given to him by many people at the school over the years and wishes the school continued success in the future.[citation needed]

At the start of the February 2009, the school stated that it was seeking to appoint a new Headteacher.[8] Mrs Sian Hampton, acting head for fifteen-month duration of the episode was formally appointed as the replacement headteacher in April 2009.[17] Mr Darby was cleared of any untoward involvement upon appeal.[17]

Currently expansion projects[year needed] totalling approximately £40 million are underway across the two sites.[citation needed]

Aspley Lane

The Aspley Lane site received extensive redevelopment in 2006, gaining buildings. The total cost of construction was £20 million, including £3 million being raised and contributed from the school's Tercentenary Appeal. The new building contains specialised drama studios, art studio. This building included a new chapel area and prayer room in the centre surrounded by new classrooms for IT, music, social sciences and design technology. After construction was completed and owing to unexpected costs, the school was approximately £2.5 million in debt. This shortfall was intended to be resolved with a loan from Nottingham City Council.

The second phase has extensive special needs accommodation as well as modern foreign languages teaching facilities.

Wollaton Park

The Wollaton Park site on the site of the former Margaret Glen-Bott school was to have been extensively refurbished and rebuilt however funding for the rebuilding-scheme was stopped.

During 2009, it was announced that the school was instead minded to close the second site and consolidate all activities onto the main Aspley campus.[18]

The plans have now been scrapped and the Wollaton site will be improved instead of fitting everyone together. For the academic year 2010-2011, the year 7's all would go to Wollaton and were set to move, along with the rest of the Wollaton Park campus, to the Aspley Lane campus. But these plans have now been scrapped, as mentioned above, and for the year 2011-2012 the year 8's-to-be could either go to Aspley or Wollaton.

Further information on the school

The current site has space for fourteen tennis courts, two hard play areas, four full size pitches and two athletics tracks. There is a full-size sports hall and gyms, and access to Wollaton and Melbourne Parks for additional pitches. There are ten computer rooms. There is a library and learning resource centre that is also linked to our careers provision. Since 1997/8 there have been four new Science Laboratories built and Technology suites refurbished, and there a plenty of IT rooms too along with a stage.


The school follows the National Curriculum. In years 7–9, all students follow a core curriculum that covers the national Curriculum. In years 10 and 11 students may choose some of the subjects they study; including language, humanities and technology subject choices, BTECs and Diplomas. There is however no choice about subjects such as Maths, English, Science and Design Technology as these remain compulsory.

The Sixth Form offers a wide variety of subjects at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 1–3, as well as a range of established AS/A2 level courses. A wider range of vocational courses were introduced in September 2006 including BTEC qualifications. Also taught is the DiDA (Diploma in Digital Applications) qualification in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Other academic options may include GCSE resits in Maths and English.

The school participates in foreign exchanges with France, Italy (Cittadella) and Germany. As well as the exchanges, the post-16 faculty is expanding links into South Africa and China, having successfully linked up[vague] with Christ's Hope International in Namibia in 2005.


Students in the school are split up into different houses. Each student will remain with the same house throughout their stay at the school. There are six different houses, each with their own colour tie:

  • Braithwaite - Blue
  • Fenton - Green
  • Inglis - Purple (since 1996)
  • Mellors - Yellow
  • Rippon - White
  • Thorpe - Red

In 1993 the school expanded from a five house system to a six house system; this extra class of students was named "BC" (attached to Braithwaite), and the 1994 intake "MN" (attached to Mellors). The new "Inglis" house was established in 1996 combining the temporarily assigned houses with the new intake. Each year each house will decide on a charity to support in the local area, and throughout the year, culminating in the summer fair, raise money for the charity.The year sevens and the aspely campus wear a one stripe tie and the rest wear a two stripe tie... In September 2010 The New Year 7's Had All Forms Are Now Labeled Thorpe 1, Thorpe 2, Inglis 1, Inglis 2 e.t.c. In year 7, the majority of lessons are taken with the mixed-ability house group, except English, Mathematics and Science which are setted by ability. Setting in other subjects increases as students become older.

Clubs and societies

There are clubs and societies that run during lunch times and after the school day. Currently, there is are a String Ensemble, Wind Band, Brass and Sax group, Recorder Ensemble, three choirs and various other activities. There is also a Chess club, a science club and a photography club. The school participates in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

The Wollaton Park Campus building is the home to Cornerstone Church,[19] a large independent evangelical church, who have their offices within the school and meet at the school each Sunday.

The school day

For many years the school operated on a two week timetable to better balance the time spent on minority subjects. In September 2007, the school system switched to a single-week timetable format and reformatted the timing and length of the school day. The system of six, fifty-minute lessons per day has been replaced by five, one-hour lessons—a system previously used up until the mid 1990s but now with an extra lesson allocated after normal school time.

  • 08:25 - Morning Registration
  • 08:40 - "Act of Worship" - assembly/service/notices
  • 09:00 - Period 1
  • 10:00 - Period 2
  • 11:00 - Morning Break (15 minutes Long)
  • 11:20 - Period 3
  • 12:20 - Lunch Break (55 minutes Long)
  • 13:15 - Period 4
  • 14:15 - Period 5
  • 15:15 - End of Regular School Day
  • 15:20 - Period 6 (allocated for AS/A2 courses and Key Stage 4 Triple Science
  • 16:20 - End of School Day

Food and drink are provided by the school at morning break and lunch time. Some students in Key Stage 4 spend time at both campuses for GCSE subjects.

GCSE Results

In the academic year 2010-2011, 86% of students at the Nottingham Bluecoat School (both campuses) received A*-C GCSE results. This is the highest set of GCSE results the school has ever achieved, and means that only 14% of students got D-F.


The uniform for boys includes charcoal grey trousers, blue shirt, navy blue blazer and a tie matching the student's house colours. Girls' wear includes a navy skirt with, or without, black or navy unpatterned tights. Girls can also wear navy trousers. All students are expected to wear the uniform smartly at all times with ties and top buttons done up and shirts tucked in. Aspley students have only 1 stripe on their tie and Wollaton students have 2 stripes. However in 2010 the ties were changed so each campus had 1 stripe.

The blazer must be fitted with a badge featuring the school crest and "Excelsior" slogan. Optionally, a second school crest may be worn as a small lapel badge (to be worn on the left).

Sixth Form Students at the attached sixth form college have a much more relaxed dress code. They are allowed to wear what they wish as long as it is "smart casual" and "in keeping with a professional and educational environment and the Christian values of the school".


Awards the school has received include:

  • Schools Achievement Award in 2002 and 2003
  • The Sportsmark Award
  • The Career Mark Award (page does not exist for this yet)
  • Investors in People Award
  • Young People playing and performing at local, regional and national levels
  • Artsmark Award
  • Lord Mayors Award for Enterprise
  • Healthy Schools Status
  • International School Award 2007/2008

Notable alumni

See also

  • Blue coat school


  1. ^ Nottingham Bluecoat School, The School's History.
  2. ^ Nottingham Bluecoat School, Staff vacancies.
  3. ^ Department for Education and Skills, establishment #22873.
  4. ^ Nottinghamshire History, An Itinerary of Nottingham: High Pavement (2), Weekday Cross.
  5. ^ Vindelis, Cathryn (2000-05-02). "Time to put the clock back!". Claves Regni: The online magazine of St. Peter's Church, Nottingham All Saints. Nottingham churches. Retrieved 2010-04-05. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Inspectors take issue with city school". Nottingham City Council. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Historic School Reorganisations". Nottingham City Council. Retrieved 2010-04-05. "01/09/04 Opening of Bluecoat Wollaton Site" 
  8. ^ a b "Head resigns from inquiry school". BBC News Online. 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2009-02-27. "The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham confirmed it had received Mr Kay's resignation and would ... move quickly to appoint a new head." 
  9. ^ a b "Whistleblower sacked from school". BBC News Online. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-02-27. "Kevin Darby raised concerns about the Bluecoat School in Aspley in 2007. He was suspended in December of that year. ... An internal inquiry found evidence of fraudulent activity involving publicly-funded building contracts." 
  10. ^ "School fraud inquiry is dropped". BBC News Online. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-27. "internal inquiry at Bluecoat School in Aspley found evidence of fraudulent activity, involving publicly funded building contracts. ... the Department for Children, Schools and Families said it did not want to pursue the matter." 
  11. ^ "Head suspended after fraud claim". BBC News Online. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-27. "auditor found what he described as "fraudulent activity" involving government-funded building contracts. Police said they were considering a criminal inquiry." 
  12. ^ a b c "Bluecoat School: Head resigns". Nottingham Evening Post. 2009-02-05. "The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham confirmed yesterday that Max Kay, head teacher of Bluecoat School and Technology College, had resigned after a 15-month suspension. Mr Kay's departure follows a financial probe at the school ... Mr Darby sparked a city council investigation in October 2007 ... under whistleblowing procedures. ... a statement on Bluecoat School's website said: "Mr Kay has resigned from his post as principal of Bluecoat School after 16 years of service. In December 2007 the governing body commissioned an investigation into allegations relating to financial monitoring and control at the school. The investigatory report was fully considered by a panel of governors and they advised the governing body. As Mr Kay had indicated his intention to leave the school it was agreed that no action should be taken."" 
  13. ^ a b "Whistleblower forces school probe". BBC News Online. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-02-06. "...being investigated over financial and safety problems. ... member of staff [made] complaints under whistle-blowing rules. The allegations have been made by Kevin Darby, the senior site manager ... the highly dangerous legionella bacteria was subsequently found." 
  14. ^ a b c "Appeal vow as school sacks site manager". Nottingham Evening Post. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-27. "The People's Resolution Group investigated four allegations in relation to Mr Darby ... disclosing evidence of the Group's investigation to the media.. requested donations to the school in a fraudulent manner.. falsifying invoices for works and failing to abide by financial procedures. ... the school's governors deemed he had fallen short of gross misconduct and he was given a final written warning. Bluecoat principal Max Kay was also investigated in relation to the three allegations relating to finances." 
  15. ^ a b Greenwell, Michael (2009-02-04). "School row over sacking of site manager". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 2009-02-27. "Investigations were launched following allegations made by Mr Darby in 2006 and, separately, a council loan to the school of more than £2m after it went over budget ... Mr Darby had committed misconduct over the contracts, invoices and donations, but this was not enough to sack him.... the panel says it found conclusive evidence he had spoken to the media ... as a result, his contract was terminated." 
  16. ^ "Troubled school suspends teacher". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 2009-02-06. "Mr Darby was dismissed last month for speaking to the media about the investigation" 
  17. ^ a b Boocock, Marcus (2009-04-10). "". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 2009-05-20. "Kevin Darby ... has since won an appeal against the sacking after a committee found there was no proof he talked to the press or was involved in financial irregularities." 
  18. ^ Greenwell, Michael (2009-06-19). "Bluecoat to close Wollaton Park campus". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 2009-09-16. "Bluecoat School and Technology College will instead create one school on its Aspley site. Students from the Wollaton Park campus will be moved there in 2012." 
  19. ^

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