New educational chapter on the horizon for Houlton

Rugby Borough Council granted planning permission for Houlton School on Friday 27 September, enabling works to begin on Rugby’s newest secondary school.

The new facility will see Houlton’s Grade II-listed Rugby Radio Station building transformed into a six form entry secondary school, providing nearly 1000 school places, plus a sixth form.

Opening in September 2021 for Year 7, the school will grow each academic year with a new intake of Year 7 pupils.

The school is a joint venture between Houlton’s master developer Urban&Civic, Aviva Investors, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and the Department for Education (DfE) , and will be run by the Transforming Lives Educational Trust (TLET); the organisation already delivering Outstanding OFSTED-rated education at Rugby’s Ashlawn School.

Preparatory works including some demolition, remediation and clearance will begin immediately and the main contract to convert the listed building and construct the new buildings will begin in the New Year.

Residents and prospective pupils can view a 3D model and CGIs of Houlton School on display at The Visitor Centre in Dollman Farm, Houlton.

Richard Coppell, Development Director for Urban&Civic said; “It is fabulous news that the planning application for Houlton School has been approved, which marks a major milestone in the development of Houlton. The school will become an important statement building in the heart of Houlton’s growing community and provides us with a rare and exciting opportunity to turn a piece of Rugby’s rich history into a state-of-the-art facility for our local residents and families across the town.”

James Higham, CEO of the Transforming Lives Education Trust, commented: “This is an incredibly exciting moment for Houlton School and the team here at TLET, who are working closely with Urban&Civic on designing, building and opening the new school. Not only will the location be an inspirational place to learn in, but we will also be building on the experience and expertise of our high performing schools in the Trust to develop strong community and the highest education standards.”

Following the opening of St Gabriel’s CofE Academy at Houlton in September 2018, Houlton School is the second of four schools which will be delivered at the development.

Once complete, Houlton will also feature 6,200 new homes, a nursery, a GP health centre, a convenience store and 500 acres of extensive walkways, cycleways, wildlife corridors, ponds and green spaces.

For more information, visit

To register your interest in Houlton School, email

Teen boys reminded: “The power in being a man is being your true self”

With the #MeToo movement and men in senior positions accused of deception, it’s arguably never been a more important time to ask: What does it mean to be a man? How do we tackle toxic masculinity? What is men’s responsibility in the world? How can we celebrate the uniqueness of men?
To celebrate International Men’s Day, Rocking Ur Teens will be bringing together 180 teenage boys and their teachers for an empowerment event to explore these questions and much more.
Taking place on 12th November at Thomson Reuters head offices in Canary Wharf, the oneday interactive event will showcase positive male role models to inspire participants through their experiences and raise their aspirations, showing them that anything is possible when they have the courage and confidence to find their own identity and work hard.
The event will be hosted by Bear Grylls The Island Star and Radio Presenter, Dean Quinton. Participants will also hear from keynote speakers including Andrew Hulbert, Successful Entrepreneur and CEO of Pareto; Cameron Parker, Motivational Schools Speaker and Andrew Odong, Content Strategist and Founder of Creative Media Agency Pesa Productions. They will share their career stories and learned wisdom.
Andrew Hulbert said: “I remember my teens. I was unproductive, lacked direction and wasn’t focussed in the right areas. I have so much experience now that I’d like to have given to my younger self. That’s why I’m involved in Rocking Ur Teens, as it gives me the chance to shape the future of some of the countries brightest teenagers and pass on that learnt wisdom.”

The teens will also take part in a spoken word workshop with Ragz-CV and a session on making good choices. They’ll benefit from speed mentoring with a diverse group of men who will share the advice that they would give their 13-year-old selves – with the benefit of hindsight.
Founded in 2015, Rocking Ur Teens is a social enterprise that equips young people with the skills that leaders of the future need. It does this through its annual events. To date, Rocking Ur Teens has welcomed over 1,500 students and teachers at its conferences. Over the next five years Rocking Ur Teens aims to expand its impact by growing its mentoring programme.

Talking about our last boys conference, one teacher said: “Students were blown away by the experience they thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and the opportunity to network and experience new ideas.”
Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, the conference is highly subsidised and tickets cost just £15 per student or teacher.
To find out more about the conference and how to sponsor the event see Tickets for this event are sold out, to register for future events see

UK company pioneers ‘green’ IT in education

As millions of young people across our warming globe are calling for action, one spectacularly successful UK company is helping schools, colleges and universities make a difference and save millions of pounds.

Hampshire-based Circular Computing is the world’s first remanufacturer of laptops and is selling hundreds of thousands of them in response to increasingly loud demands for governments around the world to do more to support a manufacturing industry where technical materials are designed for perpetual cycles of use – what’s called the circular economy.

“We know that education budgets are always tight. Procurement of new top specification laptops in the huge numbers required for staff and students is difficult to justify when finances are subject to public standards of accountability,” said Rod Neale, founder of the company.

“But refurbished or secondhand laptops are unpopular whether you’re in education or out in the world of work. They don’t perform like new devices and they certainly don’t look like new, which is why they typically arrive with a 3-month warranty.

“We came up with a third way by precisely remanufacturing top-model laptops back to their original performance, reliability and brand new appearance.”

Circular Computing employs hundreds of engineers in purpose-built remanufacturing facilities who take the latest models from large corporations’ leasing programmes, including major brands such as HP, Dell and Lenovo, and strip them down to their component level. They are then given new screens, new batteries, new polished finishes – inside and out, with all parts that are not defective reused, before being sold at a fraction of the price of new, including a 3-year replacement warranty or buy-back. 

As internet usage soars, the problems surrounding the IT industry are rising alarmingly. More than 160 million new laptops are made every year. As well as being responsible for around 17% of electronic waste, their production depends on many of the earth’s dwindling resources, including rare ‘conflict’ minerals, metals and water.

The IT industry causes the same amount of much greenhouse gas pollution as the entire airline industry.

Circular Computing laptops are the first in the world to be carbon neutral. The company not only offset carbon emissions through worldwide clean energy projects, but also compensate for legacy carbon emissions by planting 5 trees for every laptop sold.

For those working in education, the benefits of remanufacturing are significant in terms of cost-savings, landfill reduction and the chance to align with a global movement towards greening the planet. 

AVer launches PTC500S professional auto tracking camera for educational presenters

Leading educational AV manufacturer AVer announces the launch of the PTC500S Professional Auto Tracking Camera, which allows the user to create engaging videos for streaming, sharing, and recording during lectures, demonstrations, video conferences and speeches

With a PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera, powerful 30X optical zoom and secondary 120° FOV (Field of Vision) panoramic camera, the PTC500S captures full HD 1080p video. Three tracking modes and Multi-Presenter Detection eliminate the need for an experienced camera operator.

The PTC500S has 350° pan and 120° tilt radius and is perfectly suited for large classrooms or auditoriums. Full HD 1080p 60fps video and a powerful remote autofocus function track a moving presenter precisely and display important details more distinctly.

AVer’s algorithms enable the PTC500S to automatically track a presenter’s face and movements. Speakers are free to walk around the classroom without wearing any accessories to give guidance and talk to students.

The PTC500S has a dual lens which gives PIP (picture in picture) mode to simultaneously capture and view the speaker and the rest of the room.

An industry leading multi-presenter detection feature accurately tracks when there are two or more people in the effective area and concentrates on the main subject. Wide Area Tracking provides presenters the flexibility to leave the stage and interact with a crowd or students, all while being continuously tracked even if obscured by other people or objects.

Rene Buhay, AVer Europe Vice President of Sales & Marketing, comments: “Gone are the days when the educational presenter has to stand still in front of the camera. The AVer PTC500S gives presenters the freedom to roam the stage, be natural and to concentrate on doing what they do best – imparting information in a relaxed and spontaneous manner.”

Price: £3999 ex VAT

PTC500S Specifications

1 in 5 teachers have NEVER been thanked – is it time to put that right?

Research ahead of World Teachers’ Day reveals how shockingly under-appreciated teachers are

One in five teachers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job, according to a survey by public sector membership club Boundless.

The research, which polled 2004 UK workers in advance of the World Teachers’ Day on 05 October, shows:

  • 1 in 5 teachers have never been thanked in their entire career – and the rest have gone 65 days without a thank you.
  • 65 days is the average time since someone last said ‘thank you’ to a teacher – that’s well above the national average for public sector workers of 57 days.
  • 8 per cent of all teachers haven’t had a thank you message in more than a year.
  • 29 per cent of teachers said being thanked by the public would make them happier in their job – higher than the result for working fewer hours

Boundless spokesperson Darren Milton said: “When you think of the part that teachers play in our lives, and of those of our children, to learn that one in five have never been thanked is quite shocking.

“What our research showed was that a small word of thanks – whether in person or online – could have a big impact on the way that teachers felt about their day and about their work.

“By saying ‘thank you’ to people who touch our lives so often, we can make them feel happier and more appreciated.”

For more information, please visit

Stonehenge School complements state-of-the-art learning environment with Boxlight Mimio technology

LONDON (UK) 1st October September 2019 – Stonehenge School has integrated Boxlight Mimio’s award-winning classroom technology across its new campus in Amesbury, Wiltshire to enhance students’ learning experience and future-proof its education provision ahead of continued expansion.
Working in partnership with Oakford Technology, the school has installed MimioDisplay interactive panels in classrooms and offices, as well as the powerful MimioStudio education software which allows teachers to create interactive and imaginative lessons while performing real-time assessment.
As part of a campus redevelopment project to cater for a growing student community, Stonehenge School needed a transformational solution that would reinvigorate the learning experience, improving engagement and reflecting the reality of technology at home and in the workplace.
Following a careful selection process, Boxlight Mimio stood out as the school’s preferred technology partner due to its commitment to improving student outcomes, quality customer support, as well as MimioStudio’s ability to adapt to the schools existing digital resources.
“We’ve been working with Boxlight Mimio for a number of years and we’ve trialled their technologies. We’ve installed them in other schools, and we have a good working relationship which was crucial to us with the new building at Stonehenge School” says Oakford Technology’s Oliver Gee.
The project has resulted in better student participation and improved academic results across the school.

“Integrating Boxlight Mimio was an easy decision” says Nigel Roper, Headteacher, “It saves time, saves effort and most importantly improves outcomes for students. This technology is preparing them for life in the workplace, and it’s been a very positive step forward for us”.
“Our teachers have spent a long time building a bank of resources and being able to transfer them straight over to MimioStudio without any need for adaptation was really important” says Tracy Roberts, Assistant Headteacher responsible for IT infrastructure. “The installation was seamless, and the support has meant that our staff felt reassured every step of the way.”

“We were extremely proud to work with Oakford Technology to bring a next generation learning tool into Stonehenge School” says Hollie Jenkins-Green, Channel Engagement Manager at Boxlight Mimio. “With further campus
developments on the horizon, we’re looking forward to continuing our work with Stonehenge School as they keep building upon their mission to revolutionise learning in Amesbury.”