Ofsted inspectors gave Rugby's Houlton School a glowing verdict before it even opened

Inspectors visited the school last year and were left impressed

Submitted photo.
Submitted photo.

Ofsted inspectors have praised Rugby's Houlton School in a recently-released report based on an inspection last year.

Inspectors scrutinised the school before its September 2021 opening and found it 'likely to meet all the requirements'.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

The report, which relates to a statutory pre-registration inspection that took place in May 2021, details findings based on compliance with expected standards across a range of areas including: quality of leadership and management; spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students and premises and accommodation.

Houlton pupils. Submitted photo.

During their visit to the new school, inspectors reported that leaders and trustees 'are highly effective and have considerable experience in running successful schools'.

They added: "Leaders are suitably ambitious for this new school community.

"They are determined and committed to providing a world-class education and transforming the lives of all stakeholders.”

After scrutinising documents and speaking with school leaders, the Trust CEO and the chair of the Trust Board, inspectors also concluded: “Leaders place spiritual, moral, social and cultural education at the heart of the curriculum so that pupils flourish and are well prepared for life beyond school.

Houlton pupils. Submitted photo.

"Policies and plans for personal, health and social education reflect the trust's values of kindness, loyalty and courage, and the school's commitment to developing confident individuals and responsible citizens.”

On the suitability of the premises and accommodation - which features a £39m, 20-acre campus that occupies the Grade II historic listed buildings that previously housed Rugby International Radio Station, as well as brand new buildings - the report also concluded: “The school campus provides a range of classrooms, laboratories and specialist teaching spaces resourced to enhance pupils’ learning.

"The school has a large sports hall, a dance studio and extensive outdoor space.”

Michael McCulley, Principal at Houlton School, said: “At Houlton School innovation, aspiration and excellence are at the heart of all we do, and I am incredibly pleased that this has been recognised by Ofsted.

"Of course, since the time of the inspection we have welcomed our founding Year 7 pupils and it has been a great privilege to see them flourishing in their new secondary school, making the most of the world-class learning opportunities we have to offer in this unique and truly inspirational setting."

James Higham, CEO of the Transforming Lives Educational Trust - which runs the school, said: "From the very outset, we have been absolutely clear on our vision for this wonderful school.

"The many positive comments we received as part of the pre-registration inspection are a testament to the efforts of everyone involved in making this vision a reality.

"Our thanks go to all of our partners who have worked tirelessly with us to provide such an exceptional school for our pupils."

Houlton School’s pre-opening inspection was carried out by Ofsted at the request of the Secretary of State for Education, under section 99(1) of the Education and Skills Act 2008.

A copy of the full report can be found by visiting: bit.ly/336exEV