Types of school

Maintained schools

  • Do not charge school fees.
  • Funded by the government through us (the county council).
  • Sometimes called "state schools".
  • All maintained schools must follow the School Admissions Code.
  • Includes community, voluntary aided, voluntary controlled and foundation schools.

Community and voluntary controlled schools

Maintained schools where we are responsible for deciding admission arrangements and allocating places in line with the admission rules for these schools.

Voluntary aided (VA) and foundation schools

  • Maintained schools where the school's governing body is responsible for deciding admission arrangements and allocating places in line with the individual school's admission rules.
  • Some are "partially selective" – they offer places based on the child's academic ability or aptitude.

 

Academies

  • Also state schools that don't charge school fees.
  • Funded by the government direct.
  • All academies must follow the School Admissions Code.
  • The academy trust (or governing body) is the admission authority and is responsible for deciding the academy's admission rules and allocating places.
  • Some academies are "partially selective" - they offer places based on the child's academic ability or aptitude.

Includes free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools.

Free schools

  • An academy set up by an independent group which could include teachers, parents, existing schools, educational charities, universities or community groups. The group must form a company and choose members and directors to run it.
  • Free schools are independent and are held accountable by the government.
  • Free schools apply to the Department for Education to open. They must demonstrate that there's a clear demand for that type of school from parents in the area.

University Technical Colleges (UTCs)

  • Colleges for students aged 14 to 19 that specialise in technical studies.
  • Sponsored by universities.
  • Offer full time courses which combine practical and academic studies.
  • Employers are involved from the start to shape the curriculum.

Your child may be very happy at their existing school. However, if you're interested in applying for a place at a UTC, take a look at University Technical Colleges in and around Hertfordshire.

Studio schools

  • Government funded schools that accept students via transfer at Year 10 or Year 12.
  • Smaller than traditional secondary schools with a different approach to the curriculum.
  • Teaching based on practical, enquiry based projects and real work experience.
  • Offer specialist subject areas which result in academic qualifications including GCSEs, BTEC awards and A levels.

Your child may be very happy at their existing school. However, if you're interested in applying for a place at a studio school, take a look at studio schools in and around Hertfordshire.

Independent schools (private schools)

  • Charge fees for children to attend.
  • Independent or private schools don't use our admissions rules.
  • Independent Schools Council can help you find independent schools and gives advice for parents.


Special schools

Children with significant special educational needs will attend a special school, if that type of school is more suitable.

Speak to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator at your child’s current school about applying for a special school.

Schools with a Reception class (Primary, Infant and First), Junior and Middle schools

Most schools in Hertfordshire are part of a 2 tier system. Children go to a primary school (or infant and junior school) then they move up to secondary school at the end of Year 6.

A few schools use a 3 tier system. Children go to a first school, then a middle school and then on to upper school.

Diagram showing year groups across the 2 tier and 3 tier schools systems in Hertfordshire.(Press image to enlarge)

2 tier school types

  • Primary school – Reception to Year 6 (ages 5 to 11).
  • Infant school – Reception to Year 2 (ages 5 to 7, before moving to junior school).
  • Junior school – Year 3 to Year 6 (ages 8 to 11).
  • Secondary school – Year 7 to Year 13 (ages 12 to 18).

Children move from primary or junior school to secondary at the end of Year 6 (when they're typically 10 or 11 years old).

3 tier school types

In Buntingford and Royston, children attend first schools from Reception to Year 4. They move up to middle school at the end of Year 4. At the end of Year 8, they move up again to upper school where they can remain until Year 13.

  • First school – Reception to Year 4 (ages 5 to 9).
  • Middle school – Year 5 to Year 8 (ages 9 to 13).
  • Upper school – Year 9 to Year 13 (ages 13 to 18).