Guide to the Best Schools in Hertfordshire

Guide to the Best Schools in Hertfordshire

Sitting in the east of the UK, the county of Hertfordshire provides numerous compelling reasons why so many have made it their home.

If you are contemplating relocation to Hertfordshire, you probably already possess a fair amount of knowledge about the region.

Those who live in Hertfordshire share many benefits including, a well-balanced lifestyle, proximity to London, beautiful countryside, and plenty of heritage.

Plus, the county consistently ranks well in quality-of-life surveys.

For individuals with school-aged children embarking on this move, the importance of their education cannot be overstated.

Hertfordshire has garnered a well-deserved reputation for delivering quality education from the early years in nursery through to the university level.

In this article, we delve into some of the county’s top educational institutions.

Education Provision Across Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Education

Hertfordshire Education. Image credit: Pixabay

Hertfordshire boasts a robust educational system, featuring a diverse array of top-performing schools and academies.

The county is recognised for its excellent primary and secondary education institutions, alongside a selection of highly regarded independent schools.

Catering to 109,747 students for the school year 2023/24, Hertfordshire has 433 primary schools.

Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for co-ordinating education provision for children within the county.

For those new to the region or if you are changing schools within the county, they are your first port of call.

From their website, you can apply for a school place, research schools within your catchment area, find out about school transport, term dates and much more.

5 Best State Schools for Primary Aged Children

Hertfordshire Primary Schools

There are plenty of great Hertfordshire Primary Schools. Image credit: Unsplash

The decision on which school to put at the top of the list when it comes to choosing schools is always a tough one.

Most parents will agree that securing a child a place in the best-rated schools is not easy.

Competition is fierce and many schools with excellent reputations are inundated with applications.

Here we provide a little background information about 5 of the best state primaries in the county and a link to each school’s most recent Ofsted Inspection Report.

1. Brockswood Primary School – Hemel Hempstead

A mainstream junior school for boys and girls Brockswood has a pupil roll of around 248 children aged between 3-11 years.

The school is smaller than the average sized-primary.

Rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted, the school is one of the most in-demand in the county.

Pupils attain above-average progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

Ofsted reports that “pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They attend school regularly and punctuality is good.”

With the support of a good headteacher and regular checks from leaders and governors, have resulted in a high quality of teaching.

The full Ofsted report for Brockswood can be accessed HERE.

2. Longlands Primary School and Nursery – Broxbourne

Educating around 220 pupils aged between 3-11 years, Longlands Primary is another school that has a high uptake with local parents.

The school’s latest SAT’s results are a testament to its success with children attaining results far above the national averages for reading, writing and maths.

Longlands is also an Ofsted-rated “outstanding” school, adding to its appeal.

In 2018, Ofsted reported that “Pupils leave the school extremely well prepared for the next stage of their education. The proportion of pupils achieving the expected standards at the end of key stage 2 is consistently well above other schools nationally”

The report also added that “Pupils are impeccably behaved. They are highly supportive of each other. Pupils thrive in their lessons. They are motivated and curious to find out more about the topics studied”

To find out more about this school’s excellent Ofsted Report click HERE.

3. Field Junior School – Watford

Watford is one of the major towns in the county and has a number of well-respected schools within its boundaries.

Field Junior School is one of them.

Teaching around 265 children with an age range of 7-11 years, the school sits about a half mile from the centre of the town.

A well-equipped school whose pupils benefit from the large classrooms and shared spaces the Victorian building provides.

Children perform very well in class and particularly well in Maths with results that are well above the average for the county.

Ofsted was equally as impressed with Field Junior School having rated it as “outstanding” in 2017.

Not only did Ofsted give a glowing report about pupil’s academic performance it also added that “The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding”

You can read more about how effective this school is by downloading their Ofsted Report HERE.

4. The Lea Primary School and Nursery – Harpenden

Harpenden is a relatively large town northwest of the county.

The town has several highly-rated primary schools including Lea Primary.

Teaching boys and girls between 3-11 years, it is an Ofsted “good” school and Harpenden’s highest-performing primary school for progress
(based on 2023 SATS results).

In 2022/23 our KS2 SATs results showed that 93% of pupils met the age-related standard and 23% of pupils reached a greater depth standard in reading, writing and maths combined.

Ofsted was impressed enough to state in the school’s latest short inspection that “The Lea Primary School and Nursery continues to be a good school.

There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to conduct a graded (section 5) inspection now”

To read the full inspection report you can access it HERE.

5. Hatfield Community Free School – Hatfield

Hatfield Community school is a state-funded co-educational junior school.

Catering to students aged 4-11 years, it maintains a student-teacher ratio of 20:1. Notably, the school has been rated as “Outstanding” in a recent Ofsted inspection.

There has been a strong increase in commuters who work in London moving into the Hatfield area increasing the demand for places at good schools in the town.

Having received an “outstanding” grade across the board in all categories, the school remains in high demand.

In the last report Ofsted stated that “Standards in reading, writing and mathematics are well above age-related expectations in the Reception Year and in Year 1. This is because pupils make exceptional progress from their starting points”

Further in the report, Ofsted noted that “teaching is outstanding, pupils’ behaviour is impeccable, and Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school”

For further information on just how well the school performs, you can read its full Ofsted report here. 

Moving up to Secondary School

Hertfordshire Secondary Schools

Hertfordshire is home to some excellent Secondary Schools. Image credit: Depositphotos

While primary school education is incredibly important, forming the basis of a child’s overall approach to school, the step up to secondary level is a huge one.

“Big school” is considered a significant transition in a student’s educational journey.

There are a lot of adjustments to be made in a short space of time.

Secondary schools are often larger than primary schools, both in terms of physical size and student population.

Secondary school teachers may use different teaching methods compared to primary school educators.

The social dynamics can be vastly different when moving into secondary school.

Thankfully, most children adapt well and soon begin to make new friends.

It is good news then that Hertfordshire provides a fantastic choice of incredible schools for the 11-18 age group.

Hertfordshire has 143 secondary schools that serve 108,623 students for the school year 2023/24, here are five of the best.

1. The Bishop’s Stortford High School – Bishop’s Stortford

Often abbreviated to TBSHS, it is a comprehensive secondary school, with a coeducational sixth form.

The school admits boys aged 11 to 16 in the first five years, with a mixed sixth form of boys and girls aged 16 to 18.

A popular choice, the school had specialisms in Mathematics and Computing, focusing on these areas as well as music, drama, and sport, possessing state-of-the-art in-house computing facilities and providing assistance to other local schools in this area.

Ofsted rated the school “outstanding” in every category with the last inspection having taken place in May 2023.

The extensive report stated that “pupils make excellent progress at the school, and that teachers continue to deliver high-quality teaching”

“Pupils are well-mannered, and kind and they generously give their time to support one another, for example being reading buddies or setting up pupil welfare groups. Pupils’ willingness to put others first is impressive”

For further information about this exceptional school, you can read Ofsted’s glowing report here.

2. Hitchin Boys’ School (HBS) – Hitchin

An 11–18 years boys academy-status secondary school, with sixth form provision.

HBS has a long history of quality education, the school was originally founded on 25 July 1632 by John Mattocke.

Today, HBS has around 1500 students.

The sixth form is part of a consortium for wider teaching with other schools in the town, mixing some classes with pupils from Hitchin Girls’ School and The Priory School.

Ofsted carried out the latest inspection in 2021, stating that “Hitchin Boys’ School continues to be an outstanding school”

71% of pupils gained a grade 5 or above in their English and Maths GCSE’s, the local authority average is 55% and the average for the UK as a whole is 45%.

Another great achievement for the school.

You can read more about how well the school is performing by reading their latest Ofsted report here.

3. Beaumont School – St Albans

Beaumont School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status,

It was founded in 1938 and has become a school of over 1600 students, including 500 in the sixth form.

Situated to the east of St Albans in Hertfordshire it is within easy access to the city centre.

Rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, the school is a popular choice for both local parents and those who choose to travel that much further to benefit from the high standards the school is known for.

The headteacher stated that “Beaumont students also excelled at GCSE in 2023, with hugely impressive results across the board, from the number of top grades achieved to the highest percentage of students gaining grade 4 or above in both English and Maths in the school’s history”

When it comes to impressive results, the school has an incredible record!

They achieved a higher-than-average number of pupils gaining A* – A in their ‘A’ level exams in 2023.

Ofsted was equally as impressed with Beaumont School, you can read their positive comments in the full Ofsted report here.

4. St Clement Danes School – Chorleywood

St Clement Danes School is a co-educational academy school for pupils aged 11 to 18 in Chorleywood, it sits south of the county, close to Watford.

This is another Hertfordshire school with a long history of providing quality education having first been founded in 1862.

Around 1600 pupils attend school here, including sixth-form students.

Ofsted evaluated St Clement Danes as an ‘Outstanding’ school overall. Additionally, it was also rated as outstanding in every one of the 31 categories that make up the most recent Ofsted report.

This places the school as one of the best schools in the country.

If you are considering sending your child to this school and want to know more about its Ofsted results just click here.

5. Rickmansworth School – Rickmansworth

Yet another of the county’s best secondary schools, Rickmansworth School is heavily oversubscribed making it challenging to enrol.

A large comprehensive secondary school and sixth form with academy status for approximately 1,500 pupils, even local children who fall within the catchment area can often struggle to secure a place here.

Having only recently been inspected in 2023, Ofsted produced a glowing report with many positive comments such as:

“A purposeful atmosphere permeates all areas of the school. The school constantly strives to ensure that all pupils in all lessons receive the highest possible quality teaching. The school provides exceptional support for pupils’ personal development. Pupils demonstrate mature attitudes to learning. Classrooms are strong learning communities.”

Small wonder this fantastic school is so attractive to both parents and pupils.

For a full copy of the school Ofsted report simply click here.


Schools in Hertfordshire

Clearly, Hertfordshire offers a great choice of both primary and secondary schools. Image credit: Pexels

Families considering a move to Hertfordshire can be confident in the quality of education available in the county.

In this overview, we have spotlighted just ten of the numerous state-funded schools in the region.

All have received impressive ratings from Ofsted, underscoring the dedication and hard work of students and educators alike.

A solid education is paramount in providing your child with the best possible foundation for life and future success.

As well as having numerous private schools Hertfordshire is blessed with some exceptionally good special schools catering to children with a wide range of disabilities.

No matter what stage your child is in their school education journey, regardless of their ability either physical or mental, Hertfordshire delivers.

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