Houstone School


We were commissioned to design and build a new 6FE secondary school with a 220 place sixth form to meet the growing demand for school places from the nearby housing developments.

This would be the first new secondary school Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) have built in the town as part of its New School Places programme.

Key Info

Project Location:
Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Project Type:
New Build

Central Bedfordshire Council

R G Carter

Project Completion:
September 2023

Project Value:
£22.5 million


Houstone School was built on an underutilised playing field in Parkside, Houghton Regis.
The school needed to be sympathetic to the neighbouring SEND school, leisure centre, and housing.

Based around the DfE’s super hub model, our design was created for CBC to use as a template design on other sites. Our team used the CEM process during Stage 2 to develop the design and ensure the client’s aspirations were achieved. We also engaged actively with the school to tailor the design to meet their requirements. In order to keep costs down and create a strong sense of community, we made sure overall footprints were condensed and the external surface area of the building was minimised. R G Carter were appointed as part of a two-stage tender during stage 3 to work collaboratively with us to resolve potential construction issues before we started on site.

A hot rolled steel frame with SFS infill panels was chosen for speed and flexibility on the main three-storey teaching block. This building features a brick skin at ground floor for robustness and Rockpanel chameleon feature panels at higher levels to inject colour and interest into the design. The sports block also has a hot rolled steel frame and brickwork at the ground level. Internal walls are constructed of blockwork for robustness and the higher sections of the building are finished with an insulated panel and coloured translucent panels. These colourful panels catch the eye and also tie in with the main teaching block.

The teaching block’s design has a strong focus on the central atrium and dining area. At the heart of the school, this open and transparent space provides a community feel. Lightwells throughout the building allow plenty of daylight to enter and create bright and airy spaces. We installed PV panels on the roof and went above and beyond the baseline requirements for the school. The building adopted low U-values, reducing heating demands and carbon emissions.

Houghton Regis’ leisure centre is currently being rebuilt but will not include a sports hall. Houstone School’s sports hall has become a community facility, opening to the public outside school hours. This project has also provided links (connecting footpaths and enhanced cycle routes) to the surrounding developments, including the leisure centre.



Fly through


Our team have supported CBC and Advantage Schools Trust to deliver a major investment in secondary education for Houghton Regis.

The state-of-the-art learning environment has made a significant impact on the local children and will continue to do so for future generations. Pupils have spoken of their excitement and the “heart warming” effect of the “positive energy” at the school. The wider community are also benefiting with access to fantastic sports facilities.


“It has been really touching to hear about the positive experiences of pupils and staff as they settle into their brand-new school buildings. The delivery of our first-ever new secondary school in Houghton Regis has been a huge challenge but when you hear how it is affecting people’s lives for the better it really brings home how this project has always been about more than just bricks and mortar. I hope by being offered such fantastic facilities, it helps provide pupils, now and in the future, with an opportunity to get the most out of their education at Houstone School. This has been a much-anticipated moment that marks an exciting new chapter in the lives of young learners, setting the stage for their bright future. Houghton Regis has seen significant growth in recent years and this state-of-the-art school will provide an exciting and modern learning environment for the increasing numbers of local children.”

Cllr Hayley Whitaker, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Families, Education and Children

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