The Past

The school takes its name from Joseph Whitaker (1850-1932), a famous naturalist and sportsman who lived at nearby Rainworth Lodge.

Founded in 1963, the school expanded considerably in 1971, when it became an 11-18 years mixed comprehensive. In 2004, the school was awarded specialist sports college status and we became a foundation school in 2006. The school gained academy status in 2011 and extended its specialism to include the performing arts in 2013.

The Whitaker family coat of arms, with its motto ‘SPES ET FIDES’, accurately reflects the expectations of our founder, and the philosophy by which we work today – HOPE for our pupils’ future and FAITH in their ability to rise to whatever challenges they meet.


The Present

The Joseph Whitaker School has over 1200 pupils on roll with a strong sixth form housed within new state of the art facilities.  Situated on Warsop Lane, the campus is an attractive site of some 24 acres overlooking a pleasant wooded area surrounding Ell Lake, a local beauty spot.

The Governing Body are investing heavily in our accommodation and grounds. We are part-way through an extensive refurbishment programme which includes the development of a new performing arts centre, which opened in September 2014. Our classrooms are organised around distinct Faculty areas and we have an excellent range of specialist accommodation, including a state of the art resource centre; an impressive sports hall, dance studio and gym; excellent outdoor facilities including a full size all weather 3G pitch; a media room, a good range of computer rooms and a large, well resourced, student support centre.


The Future

The academy is constantly evolving and we always strive to provide the highest possible quality of education. We want to become outstanding in everything that we do and our record results are testimony to this drive.  We will continue to support our pupils to improve their attainment, develop their skills and adopt a healthy lifestyle. We will always remember and value our roots within our local community whilst recognising that our pupils are part of a global economy, and we will  further develop their understanding of the world through our extensive international links.

Above all, in everything that they do, we will encourage our students to Be Outstanding.