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Birchwood High School is a mainstream secondary school with a roll of 1,430 boys and girls, providing 8 forms (240 PAN) of entry for students in years 7 to 11 together with a vibrant Sixth Form offering a range of A-Level and BTech courses. 

We have great pride in being an inclusive school, with an all-ability ethos that respects and responds to our students and our local community.  By ensuring that we “welcome all, support all and encourage all”, we believe that we create a learning environment with high aspirations for students’ academic progress and their personal growth, so that they move on from Birchwood prepared for their next steps and their place in the world as happy and successful young adults.  

  • 1/3 of our intake have siblings already at the school.  

  • 1/2 are from families within our published priority area  

  • The remaining are based on geographical distance from the school. 

Entry into Year 7 

Each year, we admit 240 boys and girls and carefully arrange them into 8 form groups. This was increased five years ago to accommodate the increased number of applications we were receiving.

As an Academy, Birchwood’s Admission Policy is as follows: 

  1. Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan 

  2. Children looked after (children in public care). 

  3. Siblings: Children who, at the closing date for applications, have a brother or sister currently attending Birchwood High School in Years 7 – 11. Current Year 7 = 31% siblings. 

  4. Members of staff: Birchwood employees providing they have been employed for a minimum of two years. 

  5. Priority area: Children who, at the closing date for applications, live in the chosen urban priority area of Bishop’s Stortford, Thorley Parish and the area North West of Bishop’s Stortford, namely; Albury, Berden, Birchanger, Brent Pelham, Farnham, Furneux Pelham, Little Hadham, Manuden, Much Hadham, Stocking Pelham, Takeley and The Hallingbury’s. 

  • Geographical distance: Should there be places unfilled after applying criteria 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 then places will be offered on the basis of the shortest distance from their permanent residence to the school as determined by Hertfordshire County Council. 

All our Admissions Policies can be found on our Policies Page. These rules can also be found in the Local Education Authority's ‘Moving On’ Booklet.

The local authority’s on-line and paper application deadline is Tuesday 31 October 2023. All prospective parents/carers seeking admission should ensure that an application is completed online via their local authority. You will receive written confirmation of your child’s place from the local authority on Friday 1 March 2024 via email, or for those who applied on paper the confirmation will be posted first class on Friday 1 March 2024. You will need to confirm the place by Friday 15 March 2024.  

If you wish to contact Hertfordshire Admissions Customer Care Centre, their phone number is 0300 123 4043. If you have any queries regarding Year 7 admissions at Birchwood High School, please contact Mrs Hewlett on 01279 655936 or by email

Parents wishing to appeal who applied through Hertfordshire’s online system should log in to their online application and click on the “register an appeal”link. Out of county residents and paper applicants should call the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request their registration details and log into and click on the “log into the appeals system" link.

Once your child has obtained a place at Birchwood, we have a carefully orchestrated Induction Programme to ensure that their transition to Year 7 works effectively. 

Entry into Years 8 to 11 

We work in partnership with the local education authority to ensure that places are allocated on a fair and accurate basis. Please apply for an in-year place using the link below: 

In-Year Admissions

Visits to the school 

If you wish to visit the school with your child with regard to a prospective place at the school, please contact Mrs J Hewlett, Admissions Officer. 

All the information on our Sixth Form admissions can be found here