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  • Saffron Walden County High School
    Audley End Road
    Saffron Walden
    CB11 4UH
  • Head: Polly Lankester
  • T 01799 513030
  • F 01799 513031
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.
  • Read about the best schools in Essex
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Essex
  • Pupils: 2,144; sixth formers: 640
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Open days: September and October
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 1
    • 1 Full inspection 16th May 2012
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

This really is the epicentre of the arts for the local area. School incorporates a professional concert and theatrical venue (Saffron Hall) as well as the town’s arts cinema (Saffron Screen), a clever move which has brought superb facilities to the site for the use and inspiration of pupils during the day and the local community at other times. ‘We give the independent schools a run for their money,’ beams head…

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What the school says...

Converted to an academy 2011.

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2020, Polly Lankester. Studied history at Cambridge after a gap year in China, during which she fell in love with teaching. Took her PGCE and landed her first job as a teacher - in the school she now leads. ‘I knew the minute I walked through the door that this was a special place and I would be lucky to work here and, if I did, that it would be hard to leave,’ she predicted. Worked her way up through the ranks, spending several years as associate head to the former executive headteacher (now the trust’s CEO) before taking on sole headship. A familiar face, then, and much in evidence day-to-day.

Parents appreciate her ‘warm and caring nature’ and enjoy chatting to her at school events. But her favourite hours...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The school is well staffed to cope with students who have special educational needs. The team of Learning Support Assistants work closely with the SENCO to ensure that all individual education plans are well focussed on the children's special educational needs. 09-09

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

Who came from where

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