Skip to main content
  • Cotham School
    Cotham Lawn Road
    BS6 6DT
  • Head: Ms Jo Butler
  • T 01179 198000
  • F 01179 082209
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.
  • Read about the best schools in Bristol
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Bristol
  • Pupils: 1,642 ; sixth formers: 426
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Good 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Good 2
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Good 2
    • 1 Short inspection 18th October 2023
    • 2 Full inspection 17th April 2018

    Short inspection reports only give an overall grade; you have to read the report itself to gauge whether the detailed grading from the earlier full inspection still stands.

  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report
  • Linked schools: North Bristol Post 16 Centre

What says..

In their first year, students appear to do a carousel of humanities subjects, and ‘skills’ (making coleslaw inter alia). Somewhat contentiously, new students are also randomly assigned to study French or German – and never the twain shall meet. Food is good, according to students, but queues can be long at lunchtime ‘so I buy my baguette at break, then eat it later – in class if it’s boring!’ our guide confessed. We were impressed by being completely ignored by the dance students who were engrossed in their...


Read review »

What the school says...

Converted to an academy 2011.

Do you know this school?

The schools we choose, and what we say about them, are founded on parents’ views. If you know this school, please share your views with us.

Please login to post a comment.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2015 Jo Butler (late 40s) MA PGCE NPQH. We learnt that this head’s early educational experiences have informed her career in an emphatic and unconventional way (when we finally got to hear about them - after six months of trying. We have to congratulate her PA on being the best gatekeeper of any head we’d ever eventually managed to meet). Starting from unpromising beginnings at a girls’ secondary modern in Essex, she was rescued by a couple of teachers at the tertiary college she went to. ‘For the first time I found myself in a truly comprehensive environment full of grammar school rejects and middle class people,’ she revealed, ‘and it was a very powerful influence on me’. A levels, a degree in fine art from Hull, PGCE at Goldsmiths, a masters from...

Subscribe now for instant access to read The Good Schools Guide review.

Already subscribed? Login here.

Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

☑ 30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
☑ Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
☑ Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

Buy Now

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.