School Size

Secondary schools are usually between four and twelve form entry, taking in from 120 to 360 students in Year 7. This range offers a variety of experiences for the secondary student.
  • Some students who have been at a small primary school, for example, one form entry, and who might find the transition to a large secondary school difficult,may flourish best in a smaller secondary school.
  • In a smaller school it is easier for the staff and students to get to know each other as part of the community. In a school of 600 students, a good Head teacher will know the names of most of children.
  • If your child has had problems at primary school, sometimes anonymity can be a benefit. In a small school, if a student misbehaves, everybody knows about it. In a larger school, it is easier to start with a clean sheet.
  • Smaller schools are often forced to have closer links with their community and other schools because they are not big enough to function in isolation. This can enrich the curriculum for students. 
  •  Sometimes, by Year 6, students feel restricted by the size of their primary school and a large secondary school can be a liberation for them.
  • A large school can be alienating. For example, when I worked in a school of 2300 students, after three years, I was still coming across children I had never met before.
  • Larger secondary schools can often afford to have more resources on site than smaller schools, for example a drama studio or well resourced gym, from which your child might reap benefits.
  • Larger schools sometimes offer a more diverse curriculum because they have more staff available with a greater variety of specialisms, and more students to make classes viable.
  • Often, large schools create smaller groups within them through House systems. If these are successful, a student can have the best of both worlds, the facilities of a larger school with the intimacy of a smaller one.

Further Information


The  Ofsted report gives you the number of students on roll.

The ‘Information about the School’ section tells you whether the school is bigger or smaller than the average -sized secondary school.



This will usually tell you how many students are on roll and what form entry the school is. 


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