Philip Morant School and College

Last updated

Philip Morant School and College
Philip Morant School and College
Rembrandt Way

, ,

Coordinates 51°52′53″N0°52′18″E / 51.881423°N 0.871590°E / 51.881423; 0.871590 Coordinates: 51°52′53″N0°52′18″E / 51.881423°N 0.871590°E / 51.881423; 0.871590
Type Academy
Motto"Aspiration, Success and kindness"
Department for Education URN 146794 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Chair of GovernorsLorna Kean
Executive HeadteacherScott Holder
Gender Coeducational
Age11to 18
HousesAylward, Ryder, Churchill, Nuffield, Faraday
Colour(s)Dark green  

Philip Morant School and College (originally known as Norman Way School) is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status located within the Prettygate suburb of Colchester, Essex. The school is named after Philip Morant, a local 18th-century historian and archaeologist [1] who was chosen as the school's eponym a few months after its achieving technology college status in 1994. [2] [3] In November 2011 the school became an academy. After Sue Cowan's retirement, Roger Abo Henrikson became Headteacher for two academic year. During the school's 50th year, Rob James was appointed Acting Headteacher and is largely credited for returning the school to a 'good' OfSTED rating, which took place two terms after Catherine Hutley's appointment as Executive Headteacer . Philip Morant School joined the Sigma Trust in 2018, moving from the then defunct Thrive Partnership, [4] which it co-founded.



The school was founded in September 1965 as a comprehensive secondary school and for the first two years it was located in the Greyfriars area of Colchester where it only took on first and second year pupils (Years 7 and 8). During this time the current House Block, Hall and Gym were built in Prettygate. Thereafter the school expanded in several stages but the main work took place in 1974 and 2003. In 1993 the school became a specialised Technology College and in 1996 a sixth-form college was added to the school. The school converted to academy status in 2011 but continues to have technology as a specialism.

Philip Morant

Philip Morant was born in 1700 and died in 1770. Morant's most notable work is the detailed History of Essex, which remains a standard work of reference. A copy of his History, in two volumes dated 1768, is on permanent loan to the School by the Essex Archaeological Society. [5]


The school badge is surrounded by a design of brickwork as a reminder of the parish (St Marys-at-the-Walls) in which Morant lived and worked for over thirty years and in which the school stands. The quartering of the badge is formed by the representation of a cross signifying both Morant's work as a churchman and also the School's spiritual life. The emblems in the quarters are:

  • A crown from the arms of the Borough of Colchester (on which the crown of the Three Kings appear to commemorate the work of Helena, patron saint of Colchester).
  • A torch, to signify learning and endeavour in games and sports.
  • A chevron (part of the arms of the Morant family)
  • An open book (both to commemorate Morant's great interest and achievements in the field of history and to represent the academia within the school) [5]


The school's motto is "Hold fast to that which is good".

During Ms Hutley's tenure as headteacher, the motto was briefly changed to "Aspiration, Success, Kindness", which had an associated logo that comprised a circle with a thought box circumscribing the text "ASK".


There are around 1600 students (as of 2008) who are divided into 5 houses: Aylward, Churchill, Faraday, Nuffield, and Ryder. There was a sixth house, Mandela, but this was removed after a single year of existence from 2018-19. Each house has around 300 students. A certain day of the week is allocated to each house for when Prefect duties are undertaken. Each house also has a 'House Manager' to provide pastoral support to students alongside their tutor.


  Aylward"Be Straight - Be True" Gladys Aylward, missionary
  Churchill"Service before Self"Sir Winston Churchill, former PM
  Faraday"To thine own self be true" Michael Faraday, scientist
  Nuffield"Out of Difficulties grow Miracles" Lord Nuffield, motor manufacturer and philanthropist
  Ryder"It takes courage to care" Sue Ryder

Ofsted reports

Currently, the school is awaiting an Ofsted inspection since the school left the Thrive Partnership and joined the Sigma Trust.

The most recent inspection under the Thrive Partnership resulted in an “Inadequate” rating from Ofsted (4/4), the lowest rating available. This took place shortly after Nardeep Sharma's (CEO of Thrive) and Catherine Hutley's suspension from their roles. Both later resigned.

Since 2001, when the school was described as "Outstanding ... with many excellent features and no significant weaknesses", the school has seen mixed results from the inspections until 2018, as shown below:

TypeYear Result Headteacher
Academy [6] 2018 [7] XAwaiting InspectionScott Holder
2018 [8] 4InadequateCatherine Hutley (Executive Headteacher) Colin Green & Michele Myers (Acting Headteachers)
2015 [9] 2GoodCatherine Hutley
2013 [10] 3Requires ImprovementRoger Abo Henriksen
Foundation [11] 2010 [12] 2GoodSue Cowans M.Sc.
2006 [13] 3Satisfactory
2001 [14] "Outstanding"Russell Moon

Notable alumni



Norman Way was originally planned in the 1960s to be an inner ring road for Colchester with the "Norman Way School" (and several neighbouring schools) facing onto the road. Instead the metalled road was truncated a short distance before the school for safety reasons, and a footpath set on the original route. The alternative vehicular route requires driving through narrow residential streets. Several times since then the school has applied to have Norman Way extended along part or all of the original route so that pupils and visitors would not have to walk the extra 100m, but each time this was vetoed by the Council after vigorous protests against the increased traffic expected by the local residents.

In the summer of 2009, the school again applied to extend the road through fields in the southern residential area, but this time it was to be linked to a £130m government-funded expansion of the school which would allow it to take on pupils from other two schools. Council policy was set in October 2009 to allow the road extension if it can be proven that the grant is genuinely conditional on the altered road access. [16] In mid-2010 it was announced that there would be no cash for the school expansion from Building Schools for the Future programme. However, Colchester council has not announced that it will halt its road building programme, in spite of local demands to preserve the green space. [17]

In July 2015, the school once again caused controversy when it erected a metal fence across a stretch of the Norman Way footpath without consulting residents. [18]

Homework policy

In 2016, Catherine Hutley decided to ban traditional homework and take a different approach to out-of-school learning. [19]

At the start of the 2016/2017 academic year, the school implemented their new homework policy: 'Prove It +'. The idea 'Prove It +' was to give students the opportunity to make their own decisions concerning what tasks they complete as a substitute to traditional homework. Students can select tasks from the Prove It + website, [20] and then submit the task to their teacher either using a 'digital postcard' which was sent directly to the member of staff's email inbox, or complete a Prove It + card along with the task completed.

The decision to ban traditional homework has caused mixed views on the idea. There was no consultation with either the teaching staff or parents. Some parents describe the move to ban traditional homework as "creating a generation who will flunk their GCSEs", [21]

In 2018, after declining results, homework was reintroduced by the Acting Headteachers. [22]

See also

Related Research Articles

Crook, County Durham Town in County Durham, England

Crook is a historic market town in the district and ceremonial County Durham, Northern England. It located on the edge of Weardale, therefore sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to Weardale".

Philip Morant

Philip Morant was an English clergyman, author and historian.

Langham, Essex Human settlement in England

Langham is a small village in the north east of Essex, England.

Woodbrook Vale School is a coeducational secondary school situated on Grasmere Road in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. It is a state school with academy status and has around 800 pupils on roll.

St Andrews Catholic School is a Christian secondary school and sixth form college in Grange Road, Ottways Lane, Leatherhead, close to the town of Epsom, Surrey, England. Originally a convent back in the 19th century, St Andrews School was transformed into a school in 1901; it consists of three main buildings: the central building dating back to the 1900s, a sixth form and performance arts building, finished in 2008, and the Earl building which accommodates History, Geography and Languages, finished in 2017. Named in memory of John Earl who served as Chair of Governors.

St Monicas High School Academy in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England

St Monica's R.C. High School is a coeducational secondary school located on Bury Old Road in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England, opposite Heaton Park.

Kelmscott School Community, comprehensive school in Walthamstow, Greater London, England

Kelmscott School is a secondary comprehensive school in Walthamstow, East London, England. The school has approximately 900 pupils aged 11–16. In 2008 the school underwent an £11.2m refurbishment as part of the Building Schools for the Future program. The current headteacher is Mr Sam Jones.

Coleridge Community College is a secondary academy school with 750 places for children aged 11–16, situated on Radegund Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. The school is a member of the Cambridge Academic Partnership along with Parkside Community College, Trumpington Community College, Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology, and Parkside Sixth. It joined Parkside Community College to form the Parkside Federation in 2005, after having been placed in special measures in 2003. An Ofsted report in 2019 rated it as good, under the leadership of Headteacher, Mark Patterson. Cambridge Academic Partnership joined the United Learning academy as a unit in September 2019.

Peacehaven Community School is a mixed secondary school for 11 to 16-year-olds in Peacehaven, East Sussex in the United Kingdom.

Ark Elvin Academy is a mixed secondary school and sixth form located in Wembley area of the London Borough of Brent. 92% of students are of minority ethnic origin, 36% qualify for free school meals, and over 50 different languages are spoken by students. Teachers and students alike speak many languages including Tamil (Thamizh), Arabic, Albanian, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Punjabi, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Shona, Somali, Spanish and Urdu.

Thurstable School is a mixed secondary academy school, sports college and sixth form situated in the village of Tiptree, Essex, England. The school is about 8 miles south of Colchester.

William Edwards School Academy in Grays, Essex, England

William Edwards School, commonly referred to by locals and students as Willy Eds, is a coeducational secondary comprehensive school with academy status, in Grays, Essex, England. It is a founding member of the South West Essex Community Education Trust (SWECET) and is its leading member. The current headteacher of the school is Simon Bell. The school first opened on 11 September 1962, gained specialist sports college status in 2002 and in 2004 also became a training school. The school achieved outstanding in its Ofsted inspection of December 2010 after which it closed to make way for the current academy status school, reopening on 1 August 2011. In March 2017 the school was inspected and retained outstanding status. As of 2019 it requires improvement.

Mark Hall Academy Academy in Harlow, Essex, England

Mark Hall Academy, formerly Mark Hall Specialist Sport College, is a coeducational secondary school with academy status, located in Harlow, Essex, England. The school was previously a specialist Sports College under the Harlow Education Trust. In September 2013 the school converted to an academy under the sponsorship of the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) as a result of an Inadequate rating by Ofsted, with Corinne Franceschi as its first Principal and Allan Osborne as Associate Principal. It was ranked as Good in 2016 but in 2020 the school would yet again become Inadequate. This led to the transfer of the school's sponsorship from the ATT to the Harlow based BMAT Education trust under the advice of the Regional Schools Commissioner. The transfer concluded on 1 January 2021.

Colchester Academy, formerly Sir Charles Lucas Arts College, is a secondary school in Colchester, Essex specialising in English and Health Sciences. It opened on 6 September 2010.

Highsted Grammar School Grammar school in Sittingbourne, Kent, England

Highsted Grammar School is a state-funded selective secondary school for girls in Sittingbourne, Kent.

Clacton Coastal Academy Academy in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England

Clacton Coastal Academy is a coeducational high school serving the western part of Clacton-on-Sea. The school has a population of about 1600 students in addition to a sixth form consisting of about 200 pupils. Formerly known as "Colbayns", the site was officially renamed on 1 September 2009, after merging with the now defunct Bishops Park College. It has been part of Academies Enterprise Trust since September 2009.

East Point Academy is an academy sponsored by the Inspiration Trust, located in the Kirkley district of Lowestoft, in the English county of Suffolk. It educates children from ages 11 to 16. In its latest Ofsted inspection in October 2016, the academy overall was rated as "Good". The school is also home to both the Lowestoft Railway and Lowestoft Ladies Hockey Clubs and the KITE Media Centre

Broadgreen Primary School, is a primary school located in Liverpool, Old Swan, England. The primary school has 289 pupils in total. The school now has a new headteacher, Mrs A. M. Moore, who officially started in September 2012.

The Thrive Partnership was an academy trust which operated two academies in Colchester and Brightlingsea. The trust ceased in 2018. The academy trust operated the Philip Morant School and College and the Colne Community School and College.

Harris Academy Ockendon is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in South Ockendon in the Thurrock area of Essex, England.


  1. "The Right Reverend Philip Morant". Archived from the original on 10 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  2. Simon Webb (2013). The Colchester Book of Days. Cheltenham: The History Press. ISBN   9780752489087.
  3. "The Philip Morant School & College". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  4. "Under-fire schools to be taken over by new trust". Gazette. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  5. 1 2 "{title}" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  6. Ofsted Communications Team (31 December 2018). "Find an inspection report and registered childcare". Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  7. "Find an inspection report and registered childcare". 10 July 2021.
  11. Ofsted Communications Team (8 April 2019). "Find an inspection report and registered childcare". Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  15. "Silver screen comes calling for Colchester author". Gazette. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  16. Colchester: Council cabinet agrees to release schools' land - with conditions Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine , Essex County Standard
  17. Colchester: Give up field! Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Essex County Standard, 19 November 2010
  18. Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Colchester Gazette 3 August 2015
  19. "The secondary school that is banning homework". . 28 September 2016. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  20. "{title}". Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  21. Noble, Jason (6 February 2018). "Parents voice fears over Philip Morant School's no-homework stance warning it is allowing pupils to fail". Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  22. "Parents welcome news that homework is back". Gazette. Archived from the original on 17 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.