Rugby's Houlton School set to welcome its first pupils in September after Government approves opening

The school is located in the former Radio Station building
A CGI projection of how the school will look when it is finished.A CGI projection of how the school will look when it is finished.
A CGI projection of how the school will look when it is finished.

After years of planning and preparation, Houlton School has been given the all clear to open by the Government's education secretary - and its first pupils are expected in September.

The the 11-18 academy is located in the Grade II-listed Rugby Radio Station building on the town's Houlton housing development.

Despite challenges from the pandemic, work on the site has continued over the last year - and staff have been planning the curriculum.

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

As a result, the secretary of state for education has formally signed the school’s funding agreement with the Transforming Lives Educational Trust, the Trust who has developed plans for the school, which is one of the final milestones before the school welcomes the 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.”

The campus, which is being delivered through a partnership between the developers at Houlton, 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 also boast 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 that will broadcast from the site, honouring the campus’ heritage as a global centre for communication.

The school has also appointed their first vice principal, Chloe Buckenham.

Miss Buckenham, a graduate of Law from the University of Warwick, went on to the prestigious Inns of Court School of Law where she qualified as a Barrister.

After making the decision to transition into teaching in 2006, Chloe qualified with the University of Cambridge, realising her desire to effect change in education and to be a catalyst for young people to realise their true potential.

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.

"Houlton is going to be a centre of educational excellence, providing the most amazing opportunities for pupils and staff alike.

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

Houlton School is now recruiting for teachers across a range of faculties, as well as support staff and site management team members.

The successful candidates will form a dedicated team that will play an integral role in preparations for the opening of the school in September.

If you would like to find out more about employment opportunities at Houlton School visit