2nd Mar, 2021

New secondary school given green light to open in September

A NEW secondary school in Rugby has been given the all-clear to open by the Secretary of State for Education.

Houlton School, based in the Grade II listed former Rugby Radio Station buildings, is set to open in September after years of planning and preparation.

Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, work on the site and plans for the 11-18 academy’s curriculum have continued.

The school’s recent Section 10 consultation, which captures the community’s view on the plans, was also recently submitted to the Department for Education.

Education minister Gavin Williamson has formally signed the school’s funding agreement with the Transforming Lives Educational Trust – the Trust which has developed plans for the school – one of the final milestones before it welcomes its first pupils in September.

Michael McCulley, Principal Designate at Houlton School, said: “Our thanks go out to everyone across the community who took the time to participate in our consultation. It was wonderful to hear the great anticipation and excitement that there is for Houlton School.

“It has certainly been a busy few months for us here at Houlton, from building progress to staff recruitment and everything in between. It is fantastic to see our plans coming to fruition and to receive such overwhelming support from members of our community.”

With building works progressing on schedule, the campus – which is being delivered through a partnership between Houlton developers Urban&Civic and the Department for Education – will see the Grade II listed buildings transformed to become the heart of the school.

The site will include purpose-built Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Humanities buildings, as well as a Sport England-compliant Sports Centre that will be available for community use.

There will also be a professional grade radio studio which will broadcast from the site, honouring the campus’ heritage as a global centre for communication.

The school has also appointed its first Vice Principal, Chloe Buckenham – a graduate of Law from the University of Warwick who went on to the Inns of Court School of Law where she qualified as a Barrister, before moving into teaching in 2006 when she qualified with the University of Cambridge.

Miss Buckenham said: “I feel incredibly privileged to have been appointed as the Vice Principal at Houlton School and to be working with an inspirational team on such a unique and exciting project.

“I cannot wait to meet our first cohort of Year 7 pupils in September and to start our journey together.”

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