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Council Shows Continued Commitment to Drive Up School Standards

Friday 5th November 2010

 

As Bedford Borough Council continues its ongoing drive to improve education standards, Mayor Dave Hodgson has confirmed multi-million pound school improvement plans for schools in the Bedford Academy catchment area and for a new Putnoe Primary School. The Mayor has also moved to end any uncertainty following the Government’s termination of the Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF), with the decision to formally publish notices to revoke plans for a move to a two-tier schools system across the Borough now that funds for the reorganisation are no longer available.

 

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “This week we have made major decisions as we drive forward our plans to invest in our local schools and drive up standards. We have confirmed our intentions to open a new Putnoe Primary School, involving the expansion of Putnoe Lower School through a £2.5 million extension on the Woodside school site. We are also continuing with plans for a multi-million pound improvement and expansion of the lower schools in the catchment area for the Bedford Academy, which is due to expand to an 11 – 18 secondary school.

 

“Meanwhile, the decision to formally revoke the bulk of the plans for restructuring across the Borough should end any uncertainty following the Government’s termination of the expensive and bureaucratic Building Schools for the Future programme. Since the cancellation of BSF, we have been focused on other ways of funding major capital investment in our schools.’

 

“The formal removal of these plans also provides clarity for the future, demonstrating that the Borough has moved forward from the two tier versus three tier debate and is now focusing on local solutions for improving our schools that meet the needs of individual communities. We want to work with schools to drive up standards for the benefit of local children.”

 

The plans to move to a two-tier schools system across the Borough were dependent upon receipt of BSF funding from national government. After a consultation held following the cancellation of BSF, Bedford Borough Council has determined to publish formal notices to revoke most of the reorganisation plans. These plans involved extending the age range of all lower schools and upper schools to create primary and secondary schools across the Borough, and the closure of the middle schools. The revocation proposals will be in place for six weeks during which anyone can submit comments or objectives on the proposals to the council.

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