New secondary school in Houghton Regis

About our new secondary school for Houghton Regis

Where we are now

Houstone School, under construction

Houstone School, under construction

Completion of the new Houstone School in Houghton Regis will be delayed until spring 2023. The brand-new secondary school was expected to open its doors to over 200 pupils from the start of the 2022/23 academic year in September 2022.

Pupils enrolled at Houstone School will instead be temporarily educated in the former University Technical College (UTC) building on the Kingsland Campus site.

UTC exterior

UTC exterior

The national shortage of building materials and a now resolved drainage concern have been among the challenging issues.

However, archaeological investigations on the site, which are a requirement of the planning consent, has uncovered ancient Roman, Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement activity and human remains dating back 4,500-years.

What has been found?

Bronze Age burial skeleton

Kingsland Bronze Age burial skeleton

Bronze Age pit alignment

Kingsland Bronze Age pit alignment

Bronze Age round barrow

Kingsland Bronze Age round barrow

Archaeologists have found:

  • a 'ring-ditch' which is part of a late Neolithic/early Bronze Age barrow or funerary monument, around 4,500 years old
  • a human burial: the skeleton was placed in a crouched position within a pit near the barrow, suggesting it is likely to be of a similar date; this will be confirmed by radiocarbon dating. Specialist analysis will determine the individual’s sex, age at death, and whether they were suffering from any diseases
  • a line of 11 Bronze Age pits, around 4,000 years old, which represent an ancient boundary stretching for at least 30 metres; they contained fragments of Bronze Age pottery and animal bone
  • various other late Iron Age/Roman (200 BC–AD 400) ditches and pits are associated with a large settlement previously investigated within the Linmere development to the east of the Houstone site. Pottery, animal bone, and other domestic artefacts were found

The archaeological discoveries add to historic artefacts previously at the nearby Linmere housing development, also known as HRN1, which together give an insight in to 8,000 years of human life in Houghton Regis.

What happens next?

All the archaeological finds (and records of what is found) will eventually go to a local museum.

From September 2022, pupils enrolled at Houstone School will be temporarily educated in the former University Technical College building on the Kingsland Campus site, which is being refurbished to accommodate classes from September until spring 2023 when the new site for Houstone School is expected to be ready.

Houghton Regis Leisure Centre and Houstone School have an agreement in principle for the use of the sports centre from September 2022. Houstone School is planning its school timetable and arranging the times to maximise the use of the centre.

UTC multi-purpose space

UTC multi-purpose space

UTC science classroom

UTC science classroom

UTC classroom

UTC classroom

We are working closely with Advantage Schools – the multi-academy trust that will run Houstone School – to keep parents updated about progress with the school, but if you have any questions, please email school.organisation@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

You can find the most up-to-date information on this webpage, or sign up for email updates.

About Houstone School

Houstone School sports block

Houstone School sports block

A brand-new secondary school called Houstone School (pronounced “How-stone”) is being built in Houghton Regis on the Kingsland Campus. Houstone is an historic name for the town which dates back to the Doomsday Book.

As part of the New School Places programme, the school will be the first new secondary we've ever built in Houghton Regis.

The three-storey school will be opened in 2023 and will include:

  • a main teaching block
  • separate sports block
  • an all-weather pitch
  • standard pitches for outdoor sport and a new car park
  • vehicle access from Parkside Drive
  • additional pedestrian access from the west, through the Kingsland Campus and from the north, connecting to the new houses which are planned as part of the Linmere housing development site (visit the Linmere website to find out more about the development)

Once complete, the school will meet the need for secondary school places for the local community, expanding in line with housing growth in the area.

The Kingsland Campus is a mixed-use site, and its primary purpose remains education and leisure. There are also proposals being put forward for investment into a new, high-quality community and leisure facility on the Kingsland Campus at Houghton Regis following a successful bid for nearly £20 million of government Levelling Up funding announced at the end of October 2021.

Running the new school

Houstone School will be independently run by Advantage Schools. Advantage Schools, who currently operate three schools in Bedfordshire – Bedford Free School, an ‘Outstanding’-rated secondary school which opened in Bedford in September 2012, and Elstow School and Queen’s Park Academy, which are both rated ‘Good’ primary schools in Bedford.

Read more about Advantage Schools.

Houghton Regis Academy is closing

The Secretary of State for Education, in mutual agreement with Greenwood Academies Trust (GAT), has approved the closure of Houghton Regis Academy from the summer of 2022.

Houstone School will meet the need for secondary school places in the area, including the longer-term need as a result of housing growth in Houghton Regis.

Visit Houghton Regis Academy's website to find out more about the closure of Houghton Regis Academy.