Saffron Walden County High School

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Saffron Walden County High School
Motto A local school of exceptional quality
Established 1951
Type Academy
Headteacher B. John Hartley
Location Audley End Road
Saffron Walden
CB11 4UH
England Coordinates: 52°01′02″N 0°13′55″E / 52.0173°N 0.2319°E / 52.0173; 0.2319
Local authority Essex
DfE URN 115324 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff c. 350
Students c. 2300
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11 (Year 7)–18 (Year 13)
Publication High Note

Saffron Walden County High School is a coeducational academy school and an ex-specialist Technology College for ages 11–18 in Saffron Walden, Essex, England. The headmaster is John Hartley. It is also an accredited training school. It is much bigger than most secondary schools, with 2300 students on roll, 1552 of whom are in Years 7 to 11 (as of 2003).

Saffron Walden County High School was awarded Academy Status in June 2011, becoming part of the Saffron Academy Trust - operated by the Saffron Educational Trust (SET).

In most year groups there are more boys than girls, although the balance varies from year to year. There are a very low number of students from ethnic minority groups. A very low proportion of students speak English as an additional language. Recent intakes at Year 7 have been of 'very above average ability', and GCSE examinations in recent years have won the school a reputation of success with similar levels of success in A level results in the school's excellent sixth form.

It consistently performs well above average in secondary school league table scores and is one of the top performing comprehensive schools. The school is located in a semi-rural area of north-west Essex and has a farm unit on site. The vast majority of students come from a very high socio-economic background, indicative of the wealth of the local area.

In 2006, it opened a brand new cinema known as Saffron Screen, which shared its premises with a brand new block of classrooms named the David Boatman Centre. This was named after the previous headmaster, who left in 2003. A new auditorium has been constructed, named Saffron Hall.

It recently won an award from the Daily Mail and was praised by the Conservative Party after a visit by the Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

This school has now recently followed an alternative GCSE course system, whereby the options are taken in year 8 and start in year 9. The most able students will take an express course meaning they will take their GCSE subject in Year 10, the others sitting their exam after 3 years; in Year 11. For those having taken subjects in Year 10, enrichment options and sometimes AS levels are available. The new system allows students to expand their GCSE repertoire and study subjects that may have not been originally offered. One pupil, partaking in the new GCSE system, took 16 GCSE's from 2007–09.

Recently the school has announced that they will be changing from a technology school to a science and maths school.

During the most recent years a "Green Group" has been formed (made of "eco-reps" voted for by forms) with the motto "Think green. Feel green. Go green." Some students from the group led an assembly outlining the importance of recycling and explaining their plans to make Saffron Walden County High School an ecological school, and hoping that other schools in the area will follow.

The school has developed a growing sporting pedigree, particularly in Rugby Union. Numerous forays into the latter stages of the Daily Mail National Cup competition culminated in the under 15's achieving victory at Twickenham in the plate competition of 2011.[1]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Iain Dale, political commentator
  • Mark Evans, Chief Executive, Harlequins FC
  • Louise Miller, High Jumper competed 1980 Olympic Games 11th place
  • Ben Maher, Horse Show Jumping, 2012 London Olympic Gold Medallist (Horse - Tripple X III) and represented Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics


  1. ^ Hooley, Jim (14 April 2011). "Daily Mail/RBS U15 Vase final: Saffron Walden underdogs waltz to glory as Sam McReynolds seals victory over Harrogate". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

External links[edit]