School so popular it’s ‘bursting at the seams’

Headteacher Sue Collings and happy students at Tring School
Headteacher Sue Collings and happy students at Tring School

Hertfordshire’s second largest school has become so popular it has now applied for two temporary classrooms to satisfy growing demand.

There will typically be 240 pupils in each year group at Tring Academy – but last year 370 people applied to join it at Year 7.

The single-storey Portacabin classrooms – expected to cost around £80,000 – will help it cater for the growing demand until a more permanent solution can be found.

Tring Academy business director Rod Gibberd said: “The need has arisen, because the school is very popular and we are bursting at the seams.”

Dacorum Borough Council will have to grant planning permission for the facility to be installed at the school, which is now oversubscribed in Years 7 to 11.

Mr Gibberd said: “We are looking at a more permanent solution of restoring dilapidated areas of the school.

“There are some parts of the school that are terrific, but there are some that are showing their age.”

But he said this could take 12 months, 24 months or longer – depending on when funding can be found.

Mr Gibberd is hoping the government will support the plans financially.

As it was recently named a ‘good school with many outstanding features’, demand for places at Tring Academy is only expected to grow in future years.

Headteacher Sue Collings said: “We have a personalised curriculum, outstanding pastoral care.

“People want to come here because of our innovation and the quality of our teaching and learning.

“Our results last summer at sixth form were absolutely outstanding – in the top five per cent nationally.

“Our GCSE results are among the best in Herts.”

Mr Gibberd said: “Another reason why we need these temporary classrooms is to teach in smaller class sizes to improve the quality of the learning and exam results.”

There is also a great deal of extra-curricular activities at the school, with students going abroad to countries such as Peru, Thailand and Nicaragua.

Mr Gibberd said: “These are fantastic experiences for young people.

“They are not classroom-based learning. These are life experiences they are picking up.

“Children who are aged 11 come here and look around and it just grabs them.

“We are so incredibly proud of what we do and what our ambition is.”

You can find out more about Tring School by visiting