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Jul 31, 2023

Awful. Poor management, poor results.

With Howe Green private is not better. This school markets itself far too highly on their ‘caring’ reputation.
An unprofessional school with terrible communication, teaching and results that does not foster determination and ambition. They take on pupils funded by the LEA or request parents of SEN pupils to supplement the fees but without the experience and resource.
The Head ‘stepped down’ suddenly in May 2023 (following a decade tenure) and the response from the Governing body and SLT was poor. Older pupils were not informed appropriately.
There is obvious favouritism and the School continually fails to implement change and modernise. Evidenced by a staggeringly high number of pupils leaving prior to year 6 and falling class numbers. Socially this is limiting and the transition to senior school is difficult. Do not ignore their awful local reputation, they are in no position to keep up with the times.
Jul 8, 2023

Sadly, avoid.

Howe Green is a very small non-selective prep school. I put my children through several years at this school with a hope things would improve but they fail to act and implement positive change. It has been a significant waste of money and I would never recommend this School.
The Head suddenly departed and communication to both parents and pupils was completely inadequate.

Most notably academic quality and breath of curriculum falls far short of any other school in both the independent and comprehensive sector. Howe Green is not a solid foundation to start an educational journey. Maths and literacy is not prioritised when timetabling and year on year pupils fall behind. Children even in the early years are not heard to regularly and consistently read.
The School will talk about happiness and children being seen as individuals but look beneath the shiny facade and pupils simply are not receiving the tools to thrive or reach their full potential.

Pupils do not transition well to senior schools evidenced by extremely poor and declining results for Year 6. Data is comparable with similar sized small prep schools where they post exact destination breakdowns and superior results. Pupils are not prepared appropriately with a lack of independent school places, grammar school applications, comprehensive aptitude places and scholarships or awards. It must be noted that secondary schools are not overly competitive in this region but yet results are still declining.

Overwhelming the culture is sadly toxic. Mis-directed leadership, teachers who appear unsupported by the outgoing Head and a lot of obvious favouritism with the Head and some of the teaching body not supporting all pupils on their education journeys equally.

Sadly, the School and it’s Governing body does not focus on retention and continually fails to act on constructive criticism with a blind belief that the way things are done is correct and do not recognise the urgency to evolve. Plenty of families feel they are left with little choice but to withdraw.

Their local reputation is not favourable and we chose to ignore reviews of mediocre standards and give the school a fair go. Like us, pupils are leaving in their droves and we now realise how accurate that reputation is.

Parents are choosing to not repeat the experience and put younger siblings through the school after being in the nursery school.
SEN provision and support is not well resourced or structured but they are desperate for fuller classes.
For a fee paying School it falls extremely short in key areas. If you want to pay for a glorified childcare experience rather than smart educational establishment fostering independence and resilience than Howe Green could be for you.

Behavioural expectations are extremely low and communication and transparency is lacking.
Our only regret is not leaving earlier.
Howe Green, CM22 7UF, Bishop's Stortford

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