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We are striving to create a ‘world class’ induction programme that supports our professional development menu. Currently we provide programmes for:

  • Newly qualified teachers (NQT)
  • Graduate Trainee teachers (GT)
  • Overseas Trained Teachers (OTT)
  • Recently qualified teachers (RQT) in their second year of teaching
  • Teachers new in post
  • Teachers new to a responsibility post
  • Leadership and Management either through a one to one programme with the Headteacher or through the various NCSL programmes
  • Support Staff

Generally NQT, GT and OTT teachers receive the following:

  • A weekly one hour meeting with their subject mentor
  • Attendance at the LA residential training programme
  • A monthly one hour meeting with our professional mentor who is an Assistant Headteacher who is responsible for the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

All new staff including our NQT, GT and OTT also receive:

  • An initial induction programme lasting 5 weeks with 5 one hour sessions on a Wednesday afternoon at 3.30pm
  • An initial review meeting with the Headteacher after the first 4 weeks to consider how things are going and if any extra support is required
  • New staff learning lunches throughout the year
  • An excellent well-being programme that is described in full in the well-being section
  • Fortnightly department CPD sessions as part of their timetable
  • A half-termly department meeting held after school
  • Attendance at appropriate courses as directed by your mentor
  • Work closely with our three advanced skills teachers to support their practice in the art of teaching.

Teachers of the Future

We have embarked on a new and innovative programme, 'Teachers of the Future'. This is directed at students who are interested in teaching as a career. This will support their career guidance, continue to develop relationships between students and staff, provide invaluable mentoring and small group teaching opportunities and possibly provide a natural recruitment programme for the school.

Safeguarding for staff

All new colleagues are introduced to staff in the first staff briefing of the term and they are then introduced to students through the assembly structure. Staff photographs are placed just outside the staffroom and occasionally staff pictures are placed on the plasma screens. We also hold a health and safety session on the first day of working, together with a safeguarding and child protection session.

Longdean School operates a Safer Recruitment Policy.
Please be advised that if you are called for interview you will need to produce the following as evidence of your identity:

  • Photographic evidence i.e. Passport or Photocard Driving Licence
  • Proof of address, i.e. utility bill or bank statement
  • Proof of your NI number (P45, P60 or your NI card)
  • Teachers – proof of qualifications and QTS status (certificates)
  • Teachers – GTC card or evidence of registration

Longdean School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and the successful applicants will be required to undertake DBS Disclosure at Enhanced level. We are an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Our Context

We are a mixed school of approximately 1250 11-18 year old students in Hemel Hempstead, a Hertfordshire new town on the outskirts of London. Transport links are superb - direct rail links to London in less than 30 minutes, and the M1 and M25 are all minutes away. Longdean is the largest school in Hemel Hempstead and one of the largest in the County in terms of student numbers and physical size.

The School is genuinely comprehensive with students coming into the School at the end of Key Stage 2 with an average point score ranging from 26.8 to 27.6. This is below the National average of 28.1.

Close co-operation has been well established with all the local primary schools and this has further improved as a result of our Maths and Computing Specialist Status. Our involvement in the School Sports Programme has also been extremely successful and rewarding, and although it has been cut by the Government, we still support this with one day a week.

We constantly strive to offer our students a curriculum which meets their individual needs and ensure, wherever possible, that they become rounded members of society. The addition of the Speech and Language Centre to the School has aided this focus.

We have recently spent a great deal of time in developing an experience that is geared to developing skills rather than just knowledge. This has guided the introduction of a vertical tutoring and house system that supports leadership and social development, a new KS3 (Year 7 and 8)Homework model that assesses skills such as team work and self management and a Year 7 competency curriculum that develops independence, emotional intelligence and literacy. We firmly believe that these experiences will support the economic well-being of our students and set them up for a positive future.

We have also just introduced a new GCSE options system which we believe is highly innovative and will meet the very specific needs of our students. Students in Year 8 now make three choices for their foundation courses. They take one in Year 9 and complete it, with 11 hours per fortnight and do the same in Year 10 and 11. We believe that this reduces the pressure in Year 11 as students will have already taken 2 GCSEs; it will allow for more accurate levels of intervention, including additional English and Maths as their Year 11 option if required and it will support a stronger work ethic in Year 9. We have already seen this and many departments are saying how impressed they are with the progress of our current Year 9. In relation to this, the new timetable started on 4th July and not the beginning of September. This was a resounding success, although it had asked a great deal of our staff. Students started this September on day 1 with lesson 1 as they already knew their teacher and had been given a summer project that they had to complete in relation to their course programme so they also understood what they were required to study.

We are one of the lead schools in the county on the Year 7 ‘resilience programme’ which supports an innovative curriculum that focuses on skill rather than content development.


Our results have been impressive for the last few years, above FFTD in almost every indicator. This has prompted us to speak at various National events, including the recent National Conference in Birmingham and we are repeating this, discussing the impact of our Resilience Programme and our students will be presenting.

Our 5A*-C including English and Maths figure has been relatively good for the last three years with the best results in 2008 with an improvement of 20% from 43% to 63%. This placed us in the top 8 most improved Specialist Colleges in the Country. In 2011 we achieved 57% which was 6% above FFTD and supported improvements or maintenance of our high standards in all other indicators. We do have a two year KS3 and consequently our KS3 results have dipped in terms of what is reported and what the RaiseOnline or FFTD documents might suggest. However, we feel that progress is at least good and that our priority is to ensure that students leave with good qualifications.

Key Stage 5 is at least in line with the National Average and much higher in some subjects. Membership of the Dacorum 14-19 Consortium provides a wide range of opportunities for students and has benefits for staff in terms of sharing expertise and good practice with staff from other local schools and Further Education Colleges.


We have approximately 200 students in our 6th form who use a relatively new Sixth Form Common room, incorporating an ICT suite, a study area and a separate social area.

We now have either a digital projector or Interactive whiteboard in every classroom and every member of staff has a laptop.

We have a new Teaching and Learning Centre, specifically designed for our SEN students, including the Gifted and Talented and those needing support in the Speech and Language Centre.

Each Key Stage has a Study Support Centre, fully equipped with computers for Homework and revision clubs.

We have 16 ICT suites, one in each of the English, Maths, Science, MFL and RE departments.

We have an excellent Sports Centre and are involved in the local sports development programme that has developed amazing links with Primary Schools and gives our students’ many leadership development opportunities.

We have a fantastic Lion Theatre which was opened by the Band of the Welsh Guards in 2004 and enjoy many musical and theatre productions.

Additional Information – just to give you a flavour

In our drive to improve standards we have applied for and achieved several additional standards which have allowed us to maintain our focus. We have recently achieved: Arts Mark in November 2007; Sports Mark in January 2008; the Careers award in December 2008; the Healthy Schools Award in October 2009, and the Herts Self Evaluation accreditation in March 2009 and achieved our fourth IIP recognition back in November 2009. We also achieved international School Status in October 2010 and became a Leadership Development School in November 2010 only possible due to our outstanding judgement for Leadership and Management in our latest Ofsted inspection. All of these awards are current and demonstrate our desire to be an outstanding School.

As already stated we achieved the International Schools Award in October 2010 and as part of that we have visited Portugal, Slovakia and Hungary, each time establishing greater global links and opportunities to enrich 
student experiences.

We have also recently developed a link with the Bedomase School in Ghana which has involved reciprocal visits and some innovative curriculum programmes between each school.

We achieved a solid ‘good’ judgement for our recent English subject inspection in September 2011

Ofsted in January 2010 and December 2015 were real successes with the school being judged as ‘good with outstanding features’ and importantly leadership and management and capacity for sustained improvement were 2 of the 7 outstanding judgements.

The Ofsted report also commented on the commitment to each and every child and that is why our care, guidance and support was also judged to be outstanding which was also reflected in the same judgement for students feeling safe.

We achieved the Hertfordshire Self Evaluation Accreditation in March 2009 which supports the view that we know the strengths and weaknesses of the School and that everything we do is geared to supporting the needs of each individual in the School, both student and adult. Ofsted recognized this as do our current self evaluation processes.

We have several programmes to support student leadership and the Longdean experience such as Duke of Edinburgh, the World Challenge, 6th form Young Enterprise, Citizenship GCSE for all students that involves setting up a campaign and a 6th form community service programme that covers about 230 hours a week and involves working with numerous staff in school and in various Primaries.

We also run a half-termly school Parliament which involves a topical debate, Headteacher Question Time and also a school review on a particular subject.

We have had some outstanding individual results in each of the last 3 years with too many to mention, but as an example, a student scored one of the top 5 marks in her RE paper out of 22,210 candidates, another female student scored one of the top 10 marks in her Applied Business (Double Award) out of 1,572 entries and a male student achieved 12 A* in his GCSEs. In 2008 another male student also scored a top 10 in his Applied Business (Double Award) out of over 1,500 entries.

We have several outstanding departments but it would be unfair to name them. Each department does have a group room, some of which are the size of a small classroom.

We have an excellent enrichment programme ranging from musicals to weekly sports fixtures to our annual ‘who do we think we are’ week.

We hold an Enterprise Education week on ‘make your mark’ challenge. This involves the National Enterprise Challenge for our Gifted and Talented, speeches from ‘Prominent Women’ that include the CEO of a local business and Children in Need activities, organized by Year 10.

We are an associate of the National Further Maths Centre based in Cambridgeshire. This supports the development of Maths in the School, including the very successful Further Maths A Level.

Continuing Professional Development

A fourth recognition as an IIP school demonstrates how we put people at the heart of the organisation.

Our Performance Management system equips staff with the information they require to reflect on their performance prior to the annual review, by means of an on-line diagnostic. Our commitment to staff welfare is highlighted with a compulsory ‘well-being’ target and through the various opportunities for training both internally and externally.

We have a robust line management structure that details staff roles and responsibilities so that staff are clear about their role and what to do if a problem arises.

We have career structures in place for all non-teaching staff.

We run programmes for Overseas Trained Teachers (OTT); have an excellent relationship with the University of Hertfordshire in developing our Graduate Training Programme and several GT’s have worked with us and have been employed by us. Our NQTs follow an excellent programme that starts in July and they access the County programme to compliment the school’s work. Our current drive to provide a ‘world class’ induction programme demonstrates our ethos.

We have three advanced skills teachers who do one day a week ‘in-reach’ work here at Longdean. This means that they support staff in developing their practice, visit other schools to develop their own practice so that they can share it with us and they research national initiatives. Our recent internal inspection INSTED in September 2011, demonstrated the impact of their work with 83% good or better and 35% outstanding.

We are heavily involved in all the NCSL programmes. Currently 17 colleagues have participated in ‘Leading from the Middle Programme’, 3 on the ‘Leadership Pathways’ programme and 2 NQTs on the fast track programme. Whilst these programmes may not exist in the future our consortium has created a CPD group so that similar programmes will be able to run.

We run a fortnightly teaching and learning briefing, run by an Assistant Headteacher and Advanced Skills Teachers, but also run by staff for staff.

We have regular ‘Learning Lunches’ and a termly Teaching and Learning newsletter is sent out to all staff.

Staff participate in the Teachers’ International Professional Development, including a visit to China in 2005, Singapore in 2008 and we are waiting to find out the next destination some time this year.

We have an open door policy and collaborative ethos where staff are encouraged to observe one another and provide feedback through our buddying system.

We hold one INSET day off-site and last year we visited Whipsnade Zoo with assessment for learning as our focus.

Workforce Reform

It is our view that enjoyment leads to achievement and it is this approach that determines our staffing structure. Our support staff has increased significantly in our commitment to create a working environment that allows all staff to demonstrate their talents and to enjoy their job and for students to realise their potential.

We have:

  • A finance team that collects all money, including monies associated to all trips and visits.
  • A Display Technician who completes all displays for all staff across the school.
  • Two Examination Officers and many Examination Invigilators for all external and internal exams.
  • One Attendance Officer who works closely with our pastoral team and tutors.
  • Lunch-time and school shop supervisors.
  • Two Cover Supervisors and a Cover Administrator who also completes covers during the day.
  • Three Pastoral Managers (two for Key stage 3 and 4, and one for the 6th form), a Director of Inclusion, an Inclusion Manager, a Behaviour Manager, and a Parent Support Advisor who complement our 6 Pastoral Directors of Learning in a very strong pastoral set up, recognised by Ofsted as outstanding practice.

Staff Well-Being

We signed up to the County Well-Being programme in July 2007 and have now completed 2 surveys, one in 2007 and one in July 2009, and will be completing our third survey in June 2012. 96% of our staff completed both surveys, a figure which is about 20% above the norm and unprecedented in Hertfordshire. The response is overwhelmingly positive from each group of staff ranging from Teaching Assistants to the Senior Leadership Team. We feel this shows that it is clear that staff enjoy working at Longdean. The survey has indicated a couple of things for us to think about and we now have a Well-Being group run by the staff, who also have a budget to support the findings of the survey.

There is a Staff Committee that runs a strong staff social calendar. Last year staff went on several trips and last term 70 staff enjoyed a night out at a hotel in Redbourn with Casino Royale as the theme. The Committee organise an annual Summer Ball for staff at the end of the Summer Term.

Every Friday a different department organises tea and sympathy after school in the staff room.

Staff also have the use of the well equipped gym in the Sports Centre and a personal trainer is provided every Monday night from 4-5pm.

The Future

Longdean School is a thriving, vibrant, learning community where our aim is to bring the best out of everyone. We have made some great progress and understand that we still have developments to make before we achieve our challenging targets of being graded outstanding in every aspect. We know what we do well and not so well and most importantly we have a clear plan and the capacity at all levels to make that plan a reality.

This is genuinely an exciting time for anyone to join the school!!