Ofsted praises Houlton School in newly released pre-registration inspection report
In a newly released report, Ofsted inspectors have praised Houlton School, which is run by the Transforming Lives Educational Trust (TLET), for the provision that was put in place by leaders ahead of opening for the first time in September 2021.
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.
During their visit to the brand-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 a range of documentation and speaking with school leaders, the Trust CEO and the Chair of the Trust Board, inspectors also concluded that: “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...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 state-of-the-art buildings - the report also concluded that: “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, added: "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 here: