Hertswood Academy

Coordinates: 51°39′59″N 0°15′59″W / 51.66651°N 0.26630°W / 51.66651; -0.26630

Hertswood Academy
Cowley Hill

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Coordinates51°39′59″N 0°15′59″W / 51.66651°N 0.26630°W / 51.66651; -0.26630
MottoAim High • Achieve Excellence
Department for Education URN138747 Tables
HeadteacherPeter Gillett
Age11 to 18

Hertswood Academy (formerly Hertswood School) is a coeducational secondary school in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire which gained academy status in January 2013.[1] The headteacher is Peter Gillett, who joined Hertswood Academy in January 2013.[2]

It was established in September 2000 by an amalgamation of five former local schools,[3] which was reflected by the two different sites of the academy previously . The academy has since moved to a single site as part of a project to build new "World Class Facilities". school that started work in 2015, which was funded by selling one of the sites for housing.[4] After two years of construction, the new academy buildings opened in September 2019.[5]

An Ofsted inspection in 2017 stated Hertswood Academy was "inadequate" due to issues with "personal development, behaviour and welfare".[6] A monitoring visit in May 2018 stated that "leaders and managers are taking effective actions".[7] Ofsted conducted a further inspection in September 2019, with the report yet to be published.[8]


The two sites of the academy were previously two of five schools which were closed to be combined into the then named Hertswood School.[3]


Hertswood School was established to replace Borehamwood's old three-tier system of lower, middle and upper schools with a two-tier system. As such, Lyndhurst, Furzehill and Holmshill middle schools were closed, along with Hawksmoor and Hillside upper schools. The new, larger school was established on the sites of Nicholas Hawksmoor School (previously Borehamwood Grammar School) and Holmshill Secondary Modern, the two schools having been approximately 400 metres apart. The reorganisation was paid for through the sale of the three other sites for housing development.[3]

The school opened in September 2000 under Headteacher Ian Lucas.[3]

Arts college and theatre[edit]

Hertswood School gained specialist arts college status in 2005[9] and in 2009 The Ark Theatre Borehamwood was established on its upper site. The majority of the two million pound facility was funded by Hertsmere Borough Council, which remains a funding partner to the theatre, as does the academy itself.[2] In addition to the theatre, facilities include a bar and meeting room.[2]

Academy status[edit]

In September 2012, Hertswood became an academy under the Academies Act (2010).[10]

Single site development[edit]

Main entrance of the new Hertswood Academy building, which opened September 2019

In November 2013, the academy announced plans to move the entire school to new buildings on the Cowley Hill site, funded by the sale of the Thrift Farm Lane site which would be demolished for housing.[11] In March 2014 plans were pushed back to extend the consultation period.[12]

A planning application was submitted in December 2014 for the new academy, temporary classrooms and the residential development on the Thrift Farm Lane site. This was part of a schedule to move all students to the Cowley Hill site in December 2015 and open the new academy in September 2019.[13]

The academy stated that the new build would include "a first class community theatre and community sports facilities"[4] as well as "cutting-edge ICT in every classroom, expansive open learning spaces and a superb new restaurant."[14] The new building opened to students as planned in September 2019 for the start of the 2019–20 academic year.[5]

Academy structure[edit]

Students and staff[edit]

The academy has approximately 1,300 students,[15] including boys and girls from the age of 11 to 18. This includes approximately 200 students in the academy's sixth form.[16] There are approximately 100 teaching staff, with approximately 40 support staff.

House system[edit]

In 2013 the academy introduced a new house system with four houses, each named after a college at Oxford or Cambridge: Cavendish (blue), Darwin (green), Nuffield (yellow) and Somerville (red).[17] The assigned colour of the house that a student belongs to is displayed on the tv which also has pictures events and how many house point the house have go so far.

Each house has a staff member assigned as its head, a House Captain from the Upper Sixth Form, and a Vice House Captain selected from the Lower Sixth Form. The academy arranges inter-house competitions through the school year and tracks the total House Points each house has earned, towards winning the House Cup at the end of each year.[17]


Famous alumni include:


  1. ^ "Welcome to Hertswood Academy". ucasprogress.com. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Home | Hertswood Academy". www.hertswoodacademy.org.
  3. ^ a b c d "Heading for success". Borehamwood Times.
  4. ^ a b "Transforming Education - Update". www.hertswoodacademy.org. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Hertsbeat Newsletter 13-09-19" (PDF). Hertswood Academy. 13 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Ofsted Report - Hertswood Academy 2017". Ofsted. 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Ofsted Monitoring Report - Hertswood Academy 2018". Ofsted. 1 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Ofsted Letter to Parents - Hertswood Academy 2019" (PDF). Hertswood Academy. 10 September 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Specialist Arts College Status".
  10. ^ "Open academies, free schools, studio schools and UTCs". GOV.UK.
  11. ^ "Hertswood Academy Development".
  12. ^ "Plans to bulldoze Hertswood Academy pushed back by one year". Borehamwood Times.
  13. ^ "Hertswood Academy Buildings Update Dec 2014" (PDF).
  14. ^ "A World-Class Academy". www.hertswoodacademy.org. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Ofsted Parent View". parentview.ofsted.gov.uk.
  16. ^ "2014 Hertswood School OFSTED inspection report" (PDF).
  17. ^ a b Hertswood New House System
  18. ^ Nye, Catrin (25 June 2021). "Being proud of going to state school". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  19. ^ Pender, Sophie (17 March 2021). "I set up an 'alternative Bullingdon Club' for state school students". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  20. ^ Verkaik, Robert (6 March 2021). "A Bullingdon in reverse: how working-class student club is taking on elitism". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Student named one of the women to watch 2017". Borehamwood Times.