Open Day Update

The Open Day on Saturday 14th October held at Rothamsted Research Centre was extremely well attended. All three presentations from the founding Headteacher were well received by the large number of prospective parents and their children who were there. The virtual tour of the school really caught everyone’s imagination. The design of the new school uniform was revealed for the first time and parents and students alike were very enthusiastic about it. The curriculum stand was busy throughout the event and there were some great suggestions for enrichment topics. It was fantastic to get so many applications on the day as well.

If you couldn’t make it to the event the prospectus (here),  uniform (here) and application form (here) are available here. Applications close on 31st October for September 2018 intake.

In order for the building work to progress, we need planning permission to be granted. Please support the development by commenting (here). Your support is essential.


Plans for Katherine Warington School submitted

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), in partnership with the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust (HSET), have submitted plans to Hertfordshire County Council for the development of a new secondary school on land north of Lower Luton Road.

Emerging plans are for a 6FE secondary school which will accommodate up to 1,150 pupils once it is complete.

A public consultation took place in July and included four exhibitions held in Harpenden, Batford, Wheathampstead and Redbourn. Over the course of the four consultation evenings over 600 residents attended to view the plans.

The Harpenden Secondary Education Trust is a group made up from members of Harpenden’s local schools –  Roundwood Park School, Sir John Lawes School, St George’s School, as well as members from The University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted Research.

Founding Head Teacher, Tony Smith said:

“It’s incredibly exciting to see the plans for Harpenden’s first new secondary school in 50 years finally submitted.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to build an exceptional school, committed to providing an inspiring and engaging curriculum that will prepare our students for the future.

“Over the coming months the Trust will continue to work with parents, local residents and the county council to deliver the best possible school for Harpenden.”

A spokesperson for the ESFA said:

“We’re delighted to see this application submitted. These plans will provide the high-quality places that parents across the Harpenden area need.

“Over the course of the statutory consultation we will work hard to ensure that the scheme meets the high expectations of parents and residents across Harpenden, Batford, Wheathampstead and Redbourn.”

If planning permission is granted construction will take place over two phases. The first phase will see the completion of the sports hall in time for September 2018.

The second phase of construction will see the completion of the main school campus ready for September 2019.

During the first phase of construction the sports hall will be equipped with classroom facilities to house the first intake of Year 7 pupils.

It is anticipated that the application will be heard by the development control committee in late 2017.

If you would like to view the application, it is on Hertfordshire County Council website and we encourage all local residents to submit their comments to the planning department. Please follow this link

and put in the reference


Katherine Warington Open Day

Katherine Warington Open Day Saturday 14th October at Rothamsted Research from 10am-3pm. Come along for a virtual tour, see the new uniform, meet the Trust, pick up the prospectus. Headteacher presentations 10.30;12 noon and 2pm.

The prospectus is also available on the home page of the website.

To apply to the Katherine Warington School for a place in September 2018, go to

Section 10 Consultation leaflet

We are aware that the full distribution of 13,000 leaflets to announce this consultation does not seem to have been delivered to date (7th September).The specific areas we have identified where the leaflet should have been delivered, but has not reached homes in that area are the AL4 8 and AL5 5 postcodes. We are currently working with our distributors to identify why this has occurred and to resolve the problem. The leaflet will be distributed shortly and accordingly, we have extended the period of the consultation and it will now close on October 25th.

Section 10 Consultation

Our formal public consultation began today, Monday 4th September and will be open for 6 weeks until 16th October. To inform the local community about this, the Trust have arranged for 13,000 households to receive information through their letterbox, advertised in the local paper, written directly to 225 households closest to the proposed site for the new school, put information on our website, emailed over 100 local community groups and will hold a public consultation event on Monday 18th September at Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise from 4pm-8pm.

For more information about this Section 10 consultation, please Click Here.

Public Consultation – Funding Agreement

As part of the pre-opening work to become a Free School, the Trust is completing an ‘appropriate’ (as set out in Section 10 of the Academies Act, 2010) formal consultation exercise to determine whether they should enter into a Funding Agreement with the Department for Education, pending approval of the Secretary of State.

The public consultation will be 6 weeks long starting from 4th September. There will be a series of questions to which we seek your response. During this consultation we will hold a public event on September 18th at Rothamsted from 4pm-8pm where you can meet members of the Trust as they share the vision, ethos and purpose for the Katherine Warington School. The questions will be available on line and in print from Sept 4th.

Public Consultation – Express your views

The public exhibitions and consultation events have now finished. However, if you could not make it to any of the venues on any of the four days, all the information displayed on the boards at those events is available here for you to view until the 3rd August. Information removed as the deadline has passed.

New MP backs The Katherine Warington School

Bim Afolami, new MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, is delighted that Harpenden will soon have its first new secondary school for fifty years, and welcomes the appointment of its Founding Headteacher.

Bim said: “I completely support the opening of the Katherine Warington School in Harpenden as we clearly need it. I am particularly pleased that the new school is being sponsored by the other secondary schools in Harpenden as I believe that this will help ensure the success of the new school. I am delighted at the appointment of Tony Smith – currently Deputy Head at Roundwood Park – to be the Founding Headteacher, especially in light of his dedication to getting the school set up as its Project Manager. I look forward to meeting Tony in due course and to working with him over the coming years.”

The Katherine Warington School is set to take on year seven pupils from September 2018.


A detailed planning application is being prepared for a new secondary school (6 forms of entry, 1150 pupils aged 11-18) to be constructed on land north of Lower Luton Road/east of Common Lane in Harpenden.

The planning application is being prepared on behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) and The Harpenden Secondary Education Trust (HSET). It is currently proposed that the planning application will be submitted to Hertfordshire County Planning Authority in September 2017.

The EFSA in partnership with the HSET, have announced details of their forthcoming public consultation on the emerging planning application proposals. The purpose of the exhibition is to inform and seek the views of parents, local residents and other interested parties.

Four public exhibitions will take place on the following dates at the following venues:

  • Monday 10th July 2017 from 3.00pm-8.30pm at the Fenwick- Ames Suite, Aldwickbury Park Golf Club, Piggottshill Lane, Harpenden, AL5 1AB
  • Thursday 13th July 2017 from 3.00pm-8.30pm at the Batford Memorial Hall, Tallents Crescent, Batford Harpenden AL5 5BS
  • Wednesday 19th July 2017 from 3.00pm-8.30pm at the Wheathampstead Memorial Hall, Marford Road, Wheathampstead AL4 8AY
  • Thursday 20th July 2017 from 3.00pm-8.30pm at Redbourn Village Hall, 63 High Street Redbourn AL3

A spokesperson for the Education Funding and Skills Agency said:

“In partnership with the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust and lead contractor Kier Construction we are pleased to present the local community with a chance to view our plans and have any questions answered.

“We look forward to working with parents and residents to design plans for the Katherine Warington School so that we can unlock the new school places that Harpenden needs.”

Philip Waters, Chair of the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust, said:

“We are delighted that dates for this consultation have been announced. We can’t wait for Harpenden and the surrounding community to see the plans and offer their feedback. The new designs are extremely exciting and promise state of the art teaching spaces to enable new generations of Harpenden children to get the very best out of their secondary education.

“We look forward to working with our partners to seeing their designs for our new home take shape and come to life.”

Founding Headteacher of the Katherine Warington School appointed

Harpenden Secondary Education Trust proudly announces the appointment of the founding Headteacher of the Katherine Warington School.  The successful applicant is Tony Smith, currently Deputy Head at Roundwood Park School in Harpenden. Tony was selected from a national field of applicants after a two day interview process. He takes up the position from January 2018.

Tony has taught at Roundwood Park for ten years as an economics specialist and been a member of the senior leadership team for the last eight years. Since 2015 part of his role has been project manager for the Katherine Warington School, liaising with the EFSA, HCC, Harpenden parents and latterly Kier Construction who have won the contract to plan and build the new secondary school.

Tony Smith said ‘I am delighted to be appointed as the founding Headteacher for the first new secondary school in Harpenden for over 50 years. It is such a unique opportunity to set up the Katherine Warington School and work collaboratively with parents, students and the other exceptional secondary schools to open a new school with educational excellence at its centre. My absolute priority is to deliver a curriculum that inspires and engages students, promotes critical thinking and prepares them to succeed in a changing world’.

Philip Waters, Chair of HSET said ‘The Trust is absolutely delighted with the appointment of Tony Smith as our founding Headteacher.  It is the key decision to ensure the success of the new school.  As our Project Manager he has put his heart and soul into ensuring that the needs of our community will be met by the new school.  He will carry this project role to our initial opening in September 2018 and as our founding Headteacher he will recruit, develop, lead and inspire the new staff team to deliver a high quality educational experience for all of the students of Katherine Warington School’.

Claire Robins, principal proposer of the new school and Head of Sir John Lawes School said ‘Tony impressed us all at interview with his exciting ideas for making Katherine Warington School a stimulating and innovative place of learning for the young people of Harpenden.  It is great to know this important project is in such good hands.’

Tony added ‘the name and logo begin to tell the story of the Katherine Warington School – she was a progressive, inspirational scientist who was not scared to be different, combining traditional approaches with innovation. The broad and balanced curriculum will be delivered in a trusted, nurturing environment where students will flourish and staff are highly effective’.

The Katherine Warington School will open with 180 new Year 7 students in September 2018 on a permanent site in Batford. When full the school will have 900 students plus a Sixth Form of 250. Planning will be applied for in September after several public consultation meetings are held in July. The Open Day for prospective parents for September 2018 is Saturday 14th October 2017.

For further information please contact Tel 01582 714033