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

Founding Headteacher Vacancy

We are now advertising for the Founding Headteacher of Katherine Warington. Please find further information on the vacancies page of the website.

School Name Announced



Harpenden Secondary Education Trust proudly announces the chosen name of the new secondary school to be built in Harpenden. The school will be called the Katherine Warington School after the scientist who lived in Harpenden for 90 years and pioneered research into the beneficial impact of boron and boric acid on plant and bean fertility during her working life at Rothamsted Research.

The name was one of over 700 suggestions from pupils at primary schools in and around Harpenden. These were narrowed down to a list of ten. Further research and investigation led to a final shortlist of three names. The Katherine Warington School emerged as the favourite name at a meeting of the Harpenden Secondary School Trust.

The name was initially suggested by Elizabeth Gilardo, an 8 year old pupil from St Dominic Catholic Primary School. Elizabeth said:

I wanted to suggest a name that had something to do with Harpenden and someone who had made an impact. I searched the internet and liked the name Katherine Warington. I felt it was different from lots of the other schools that are either named after men or trees. I also liked that she was a woman working in science all those years ago. I was surprised that Katherine had not been fully recognised for her achievements so her name becoming the school name would help that.

KW Photo (002)

Philip Waters chair of the Harpenden Secondary School Trust said:

“We are delighted that the new school celebrates a female scientist who was both ground-breaking and steeped in Harpenden history. The Trust look forward to seeing her name above the door of the new secondary school. We wanted the name to reflect not only the town but also the high achievement which is a characteristic of all the secondary schools in Harpenden and is very much what the parents in our community want too. The use of her name sets an aspirational target of achievement for the school and its students.”

Through the course of this selection process, living relatives of Katherine Warington were contacted and asked for their permission to use her name in this manner. The living family were delighted at the prospect of their pioneering relative being remembered and honoured in such a way.  Andrew Warington Wickham, great nephew of Katherine said:

The family all feel deeply honoured and proud that the school will be named after a female scientist.

The Katherine Warington School intends to open to students in September 2018.

For further information about Katherine Warington please click here.

Lead Contractor Appointment

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has approved the appointment of Kier as the Lead Contractor for the new Harpenden Secondary Free School. The appointment of Kier follows a competitive tendering process to select a contractor.

Kier will now lead on the design and planning application to build facilities for the new Harpenden Secondary Free School, located at a site at the corner of Common Lane and Lower Luton Road.

The ESFA will work with the Harpenden Secondary School Trust, Kier and Hertfordshire County Council, as Education Authority, to submit a planning application.

Kier will also be responsible for the construction of the new facilities, with the aim of providing the first facilities on-site for September 2018.

The contractor intends to hold a full pre-application consultation before any plans are submitted. Details of this will follow.