Admissions Arrangements and FAQs

Will there be any open events this year?

Our campus will be handed over to us on 10 August 2021, so we’ll be spending the summer moving in and getting ready for the arrival of our founding pupils in September. Once open, we will host an open evening so that you can visit us on campus and we will also take bookings for some scheduled open mornings, national restrictions allowing. Once scheduled we will publish the dates here on our website, on our social media channels and in the local press. Meanewhile, you can visit our Virtual Open Evening page to hear from our Principal and the CEO of our Trust.

How do I apply for a place at Houlton School?

You should apply for your school place through the local authority portal if you live in Warwickshire.

The national deadline for applications for 2022-23 entry is 31 October 2021. Applications are considered according to each school’s admissions criteria and not the order received, provided your application is on time. For information about late applications received after the national deadline, please see your local authority’s website.

Houlton School will coordinate with the Local Authority (LA) to process school offers. This means you will need to complete your home LA common application form (CAF):

If you live in Warwickshire:

If you live in Northamptonshire:
Northamptonshire are not able to process your application via their portal. To apply to Houlton through them, please email Emma Tipler, who will support you with your application.

If you live in Leicestershire:

Is there an entrance examination and/or 11+ route for entry?

Houlton School has been created so that it will ultimately serve its immediate geographical community, which over the next 14 years will grow to include more than 6,000 new homes. We have two smaller-than-average priority areas and beyond these, the distance from our campus ‘as the crow flies’ becomes the major factor is securing a place, regardless of home local authority. As Houlton grows, there will be two further new primary schools in addition to our current priority area schools of St Gabriel’s and Clifton-upon-Dunsmore primary schools. Therefore, an entrance examination, which often leads to families travelling long distances to school, does not accord with our mission to become a local school for local families, minimising the environmental impact of school travel.

There are no plans to introduce any academic or aptitude tests for entry to Houlton School – we want local children to be able to access our state-of-the-art facilities and outstanding provision without the barrier of a high-stakes test at age 11.

Our admissions policy for 2022 entry, including the detailed oversubscription criteria, is available on our website here.

Whilst the new Houlton development is in its infancy (only around 15% of the planned homes are currently built and occupied) we’re delighted to be able to welcome families from further afield, with pupils gaining places in September 2021 from a distance of up to 9 miles away from our campus. Whilst each cohort’s applications will be different, and as more houses are built, the distance will likely reduce, if you live within Rugby and the surrounding areas, this suggests you would likely be successful in securing a place with us. Each year, we will publish on this page the furthest distance an ‘on-time application’ place was offered to support parents’ decisions and judgements about the likelihood of gaining a place from their home address:

September 2021 entry:       9 miles from our campus

September 2022 entry:       TBA on 1 March 2022


When will I know whether I have been successful in securing a place for my child?

For on-time applications, you will be notified whether we have been able to offer a place at Houlton School on the National Offer Day of 1 March 2022 via email from the Local Authority.

How many places are available at Houlton School for Year 7 entry in September 2022?

Our published admissions number (PAN) is 180. Where fewer applications than our PAN are received, all on-time applications will be offered a place at Houlton School. Where we receive more than 180 applications, our over-subscription criteria will apply (see below). Houlton was founded in September 2021 and is growing one year group at a time. Therefore, we will have children in Year 7 and 8 only in 2022-23.

Timetable for entry in September 2022
Stage of process Date
Secondary school application period starts 6 September 2021
Closing date for applications 31 October 2021
National Offer Day 1 March 2022
Deadline for accepting the offer 15 March 2022
Deadline for submitting appeals 29 March 2022
Appeal hearings for appeals submitted on time May and June 2022
Autumn term starts 1 September 2022

Am I eligible to apply for a place at Houlton School for my child?

The simple answer is… yes! Traditional ‘catchment areas’ are a thing of the past – technically anyone can apply for a place at Houlton School so long as you are able to get your child to our school each day. Whilst we do not have fixed catchment areas, there are two ‘priority areas’ identified within our admissions policy. Whilst we can never be sure how many applications we will receive, nor from where, for indicative purposes, for September 2021 entry, the furthest family offered a place in the first round of applications was nine miles from our campus so all local Rugby Borough applications were offered a place.

The full admissions arrangements are available in our policy which is available on this page; but our over-subscription criteria are listed here for your convenience:

Over-subscription criteria:

The criteria in this section apply to entry at all phases of the academy; therefore, the same criteria will apply to in-year admissions.

When the academy is oversubscribed, after the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan or a Statement of Special Educational Needs naming the academy, priority for admission will be given to those children who meet the criteria set out below, in priority order:

  1. Children who are in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, a local authority, and children who were looked after by a local authority but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
  2. Places will then be allocated to the inner and outer priority areas as follows:
    1. Places will first be allocated to children living within the Priority Area One who will have a sibling at the academy at the time of admission;
    2. Places will then be allocated to children living within the Priority Area One;
    3. Next, places will be allocated to children living within the Priority Area Two[1] who will have a sibling at the academy at the time of admission;
    4. Then, places will be allocated to children living within the Priority Area Two.

The priority areas for this academy have been mapped using Warwickshire Admissions Service’s GSI software. They are available on the Warwickshire County Council website at:

  1. Next, places will be allocated where the child is the son/daughter of a permanent member of staff at the Transforming Lives Educational Trust who has been employed for a period of more than two academic years at the time when the application is made and who will have a sibling at the academy at the time of admission;
  2. Then, places will be allocated where the child is the son/daughter of a permanent member of staff at the Transforming Lives Educational Trust who has been employed for a period of more than two academic years at the time when the application is made;
  3. Next, remaining places will be allocated to other children living outside the priority areas who will have a sibling at the academy at the time of admission;
  4. Finally, any remaining places will be allocated to other children living outside the priority areas.

[1] Houlton School’s additional Priority Area 2 has been drawn to include an area north of Rugby Borough. This is in place to support Warwickshire County Council’s sufficiency planning for school places in the wider borough.

What arrangements are there for School Transport?

School Transport is the responsibility of the local authority – please visit to find out whether you may be eligible for free school transport.

If you live outside of the immediate area, you will need to access public services or make private arrangements to get your child to school. Rugby bus services that serve the area close to the school are viewable online here.

The latest update from Warwickshire Transport Services (8 October 2020) is:

“At the moment we are still in the process of determining which services will be serving the Houlton development. Being a new unadopted estate there are no current marked bus stops and a planning application to formalise their locations is currently in progress with Rugby Borough Council Planning. Once the stops are finalised then we will be able to determine the services that operate into and around the estate.

The closest service runs along the A428 Crick Road, stopping near the roundabout. These stops are currently served by service D1 which runs between Rugby and Daventry.”

Once we are an established school, there may be opportunities in the future for chargeable places on chartered services, but these would be subject to demand and viability.

What will the school day look like?

Pupils are expected on campus by 8.30am and the formal school day will finish at 3.10pm each day (with co-curricular clubs and the homework hub running until around 4.15pm each evening). Pupils will have five lessons/day organised over a two week timetable.  The timings of the school day are available at the footer of our Term Dates webpage.

My child has SEND needs – what provision is there to support them?

Depending on the individual needs of your child, the transition to secondary can be challenging; once you’ve secured a place with us, we’ll visit your child’s current school, work with staff to understand the support they have received during the primary phase and plan the nature of the support that will be appropriate in the secondary phase for them. The size of our school means that teachers can get to know students well, share practice around what works best for individuals easily, and design programmes of learning that facilitate access to the full curriculum on offer. Many children’s needs are best served by a smaller school environment and having teachers who know them personally, and Houlton will be able to support this environment well. However, we will have limited resources in our first few years, so we need to be clear that some of the services available in more established secondary schools due to economies of scale (additional adults in classrooms, smaller class sizes) may not be possible for a few years. For students with high needs, you will be able to discuss individual circumstances with our Director of Inclusion (SENDCo) once your place with us is confirmed.

Still have questions?

Should you have any further unanswered questions, please email and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.