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.