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Hertfordshire County Council

It's our responsibility to make sure there are enough school places in Hertfordshire.

We commission the places from existing schools. All new schools now need to be academies or free schools, approved by the Secretary of State.

Plans for new schools

We make plans to build new schools in areas that can’t meet the demand for school places. We normally ask local residents for their opinion first.

South-West Hertfordshire

Croxley Danes School opened in September 2017.  The school is a collaboration between the county council, Danes Educational Trust and the Department for Education.

The county council secured the land for the new school and has also provided funding to ensure the school has high quality playing fields.

For more information about the school, please visit Croxley Danes School website.

Bishop's Stortford North

The first of the new Bishop’s Stortford North Primary Schools, Avanti Meadows, opened in September 2021 and is currently accepting applications in all year groups. Parents and carers can:


The second of the new Bishop’s Stortford North Primary Schools, Avanti Brook, is currently scheduled to open in September 2023.

The new Bishop’s Stortford North Secondary School, Avanti Grange, is set to open in September 2022. The new School will initially be hosted at the Avanti Meadows building, before moving to its new permanent site for September 2023. The school will initially offer 120 places in its first year of operation before offering 180 places from September 2023 onwards. Parents and carers can apply for Year 7 places through the secondary admissions process.opening in a new window opening in a new window opening in a new window

Buntingford First

Buntingford First School is a brand new school planned to open in the south of Buntingford in September 2023 which will initially offer 30 Reception places alongside a nursery class and will also offer places in Year 1 to Year 4 to meet any in-year local demand.  The county council is working with the Scholars Education Trust who will run the school and are excited about the opportunity to add to the excellent education offer already available in the town. The school was originally planned to open this September but delays in the planning process mean that the school will now open in its brand new buildings in September 2023. 

Buntingford First will be a pilot to achieve the first fully net zero carbon school in the county, in line with county council’s carbon neutral ambitions. 

Prospective parents will be able to apply for a place at the new school from 1 November 2022. The new school will be open to pupils across all other year groups from September 2023 – parents will be able to make an in year application for a place in years 1-4 in the summer term prior to opening.


Katherine Warington School opened in September 2019.  The school is a collaboration between the county council, Harpenden Secondary Schools Trust and the Department for Education.

The county council secured the land for the new school and has also provided funding to ensure the school has high quality playing fields.  It has also funded improvements to the highway network around the school to help improve safety and support and promote sustainable travel.

For more information about the school, please visit

Meeting minutes

New Secondary C&A Special School – Welwyn Garden City

In July 2018, the government launched a joint special and Alternative Provision free schools wave, and asked local authorities to set out their case for why a new school would benefit their area.  Hertfordshire County Council has identified the need for additional special school places to meet a gap in local provision and submitted a bid for a new special free school.

The Government has announced that Hertfordshire County Council was one of 39 successful local authority bids and we are inviting applications from proposer groups as the next stage in the process to establish a Special Free School (Academy) through a competition.  Further details of that process can be found on the DfE website

Find out more by looking at the Hertfordshire Special Free School Bid March 2019 (PDF 184KB) Opening in a new window

Potential sponsors

An event was held on 22nd May for sponsors interested in finding out more about the new school and the process. Details from the event and information requested by delegates can be downloaded:

Information about a further New Special School Event (PDF 85KB) held on 28th June can also be downloaded.

Key dates

30 September 2019, midday

Deadline for submission of applications by potential proposer groups

September - December 2019

Assessment of applications and interviews
Early 2020

Secretary of State's decision on successful proposer groups announced

New Primary C&A Special School – Potters Bar

Under section 6A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (the ‘free school presumption’) where a Local Authority identifies the need to establish a new school it must, in the first instance, seek proposals to establish an academy.

Hertfordshire County Council has identified the need to open a new 60 place primary special school in Potters Bar, for children with communication and autism needs. The county council anticipate that the school will open at 60% capacity in September 2023, offering 36 places across year groups 2, 3, 4 and 5, before increasing to 100% capacity from September 2024, offering 60 places across all primary year groups (Reception to Year 6).  

From 7 March – 1 April 2022, Hertfordshire County Council consulted with interested parties in advance of the competition process, to seek feedback on the proposal to provide the new school for primary aged children with communication and autism needs to help finalise the competition specification document.

For more information, please view the consultation letter (PDF 224KB) opening new window

The county council is now seeking proposals from Department for Education (DfE) approved academy sponsors to open the new school.

How we decide how many school places we need

We use a computer programme to produce a forecast every summer term to assess the demand for school places in local areas. We update this in the autumn term.

The forecast is based on:

  • how many primary school pupils are moving on to secondary schools
  • any trends which have formed over the past few years
  • any known housing developments.

Using this forecast means there should be the right number of places in the right locations. Decisions will be affordable and won’t affect the quality of teaching at each school.

View the latest summer 2023 primary school area forecast and secondary school area forecast

If you require an accessible version of specific planning area forecasts, please contact

Keeping the schools informed

We offer to visit headteacher group meetings throughout the year to update them on the latest school planning issues, forecast results and to support schools converting to academies.

Proposals for additional school places

The school planning team decides whether a school needs more or fewer school places each year. They consider a large amount of evidence to make an informed decision.

All school proposals are evaluated by 4 points:

  • Is it in the right location?
  • Will it make the school more effective?
  • Is it affordable?
  • What are the effects on the area?

The county council's Education and Skills Panel and Cabinet then decide whether or not to go ahead with the proposal.

Types of schools

Read more about the types of schools in Hertfordshire.



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