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Best secondary schools in Bishop’s Stortford

Best secondary schools in Welwyn Garden City

Special Educational Needs

Hockeril Anglo-European CollegeWhile there are no grammar schools in Hertfordshire, the county does have some semi-selective secondary schools which allow a small proportion of families, either in or out of catchment, to get in via entrance exams, usually for academic or music ability, with the rest (the majority) of the places offered via the usual criteria – siblings, distance etc. Many of the area’s non-selective secondaries do well too, but families will need to live close to the schools - read our article on secondary school admissions for more advice. Hertfordshire residents are allowed four choices at year 7, and you can use two of these to apply for both a day and boarding place.

Secondary schools in Bishop’s Stortford

There are five highly rated secondary schools in Bishop’s Stortford. Parents like boys-only Bishop’s Stortford High School for its emphasis on respect and working hard, as well as the extracurricular. And despite the reputation that it has for serving the more naturally academic, we found the less able are also encouraged to shine. The Herts and Essex High School and Science College is the girls-only option which manages to feel laid-back and fun, while at the same time focused and resolute in striving for the best. Both are semi-selective, with five per cent of (highly sought after) places allocated to pupils with a proven aptitude in music, and ditto for sport. On the non-selective co-ed front, Hockerill Anglo-European College is one of the most successful comprehensives in the country, offering the IB in sixth form, while Birchwood High School has a bigger catchment. St Marys Catholic School is a high performing faith school.

As for the wider county’s semi-selective schools, it all depends on how far you want your child to commute. The nearest is Leventhorpe School, where priority is given to eight feeder schools in surrounding villages, and their siblings, with 18 places for anyone with exceptional musical aptitude.

Best primary schools in Bishop’s Stortford

Best private schools in Bishop’s Stortford

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Secondary schools in Welwyn Garden City

There are three secondaries in the city, none of which locals feel set the world on fire, but Monk’s Walk School is considered the best of the bunch and it is regularly oversubscribed.

For girls only, there’s lots of choice slightly further afield including Bishops Hatfield Girls’ School, a highly regarded non-selective comp that lists Welwyn Garden City as a priority area, and Presdales School in Ware, known for its academics and have-a-go ethos. There’s also Loreto College, a Catholic secondary school and sixth form near St Albans.

A small contingent from Welwyn Garden City regularly heads off to semi-selective Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar. This purposeful school dazzles especially in academics and music, but it’s always hugely oversubscribed and you’ll only get in via entrance exams.

Best primary schools in Welwyn Garden City

Best private schools in Welwyn Garden City

Best nurseries in Welwyn Garden City

State secondary schools for children with special educational needs in East Hertfordshire

The local authority provides details online of its SEN provision and services

The Valley School, for autistic children aged 11-16, is a warm and welcoming environment, and the school’s investment in young people extends to their life outside school. There are also two all-through special schools of note: Amwell View School in Ware and Lonsdale School in Stevenage, both mentioned in the primary school section.

Among mainstream schools with good SEN provision is Bishops Stortford High School, where parents and pupils praise the subject clinics aimed at pupils who struggle in specific subjects. With students arriving from around 40 primary schools to The Herts and Essex High School and Science College, the number of students requiring some level of support is often quite large, and parents say they manage it well. Hockerill Anglo-European College gets good SEN reviews too - ‘The transition in year 7 was faultless, with the school knowing all about our daughter and her needs before she’d even started,’ one parent told us.

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