Hatfield school basks in new popularity

PUBLISHED: 07:16 05 March 2016

Head girl Ashley Thompson-Webb 18, head Michael Harpham, Michelle Bartlam 16, Harry Brown 16

Head girl Ashley Thompson-Webb 18, head Michael Harpham, Michelle Bartlam 16, Harry Brown 16

Archant

A once-shunned Hatfield school has hit a key landmark in the restoration of its reputation - it is expanding intake to cope with demand.

For many years Onslow St Audrey’s School was unable to fill its annual allocation of 150 spaces, and in 2013 just 93 students joined the school.

But with allocations for next September published last week, the school proudly announced it will admit 173 11-year-olds, 20 per cent more than in 2015.

It has space and resources to cope with its new popularity as older year-groups are below size, but is also investing to improve its facilities.

Headteacher Michael Harpham said: “We are humbled by the unprecedented interest in Onslow St Audrey’s School.

“This is testimony to the improving quality of education of schools in Hatfield and to the collaborative work we do together with our local primary schools where we are committed to giving high quality education to our young people.

“The word continues to get out about the quality of the Onslow experience and we look forward to taking the time to get to know all of our new students and welcoming them in September.”

The school will give prospective pupils and their parents a chance to meet staff on a “friendship afternoon” on March 22.

A spokeswoman added: “With the near-completion of a £1.3 million investment in the school’s buildings and a further £4.9 million investment in a new science block, sports hall and multi-use sports pitch on the horizon, Onslow St Audrey’s School are investing in their students’ futures, demonstrating their dedication to improvement and in achieving their aim of becoming a centre of educational excellence and a true hub for their local community.”

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