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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > November 2015 > School Organisation

School Organisation

FUTURE ORGANISATION OF SCHOOLS CONSULTATION

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE

Bedford Borough Council has launched a School Structural Consultation on the future organisation of schools in Bedford Borough, and invites as many people as possible to have their say in response to it. 

The proposals intend to give clarity for parents, for students and for schools.

 

In July this year, Bedford Borough Council announced that it would work alongside schools in the borough to design and deliver a transition from a three-tier education system (with lower, middle and upper schools) to a two-tier system (with primary and secondary schools).

 

The Council wants to hear from parents about their views.

 

Commenting, Virginia Gilks, Head teacher at Bromham Lower School, said: “Along with other schools, we put forward our plans and we look forward to hearing what parents, carers and the community at large think about what’s proposed. We are extremely confident about this process and believe that the school structures review will benefit our children now and in the future.”

 

The Borough Council will provide strategic leadership to ensure that the move to a two-tier system is coherent, coordinated and serves the interests of all local children.

 

Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council said: “We want to hear your views before we decide whether to take on this big change in schools structures in Bedford Borough. Every child matters, and we want to continue to enable children and young people in Bedford Borough to access the best opportunities in life and the best start in life. More than 91% of our schools are independently rated as good or outstanding according to the independent school inspector Ofsted, putting us at the top of local authorities in the Eastern Region.”

 

The Mayor, Dave Hodgson, said: “Our priority is for every school in the borough to be good or outstanding and to ensure that parents, carers and guardians are able to clearly understand the route their child could take through the education system. The best teachers in the classroom deliver the best education for our children.  We will support schools and teachers through this process, to help ensure it works in the best interests of children and young people now and in the future.”

 

Cllr Henry Vann continued: “I would also like to give my thanks to the schools for taking part in the process. Head teachers and Governors have provided us with challenge and support to produce proposals for the benefit of current and future generations of Bedford Borough schoolchildren. I would like to put on record my thanks in particular to Governors, who work many hours as volunteers to improve education for children in the Borough.” 

 

The results of the consultation document will be considered at an Executive meeting on 20th January 2016, where a decision on the proposal will be reached. If the proposal is agreed, it is also intended that the change would take place over a two year period from September 2017 to September 2019.

The Consultation document will be available online at www.bedford.gov.uk/2tier

where it is possible to complete an online response form. Please do take the opportunity to respond online.

 

In this consultation on the future organisation of schools in Bedford Borough, we are proposing, in general, that:

• Lower schools become primary schools for pupils aged 4-11 years

• Upper schools become secondary schools for pupils aged 11-18 years

• Middle schools either become primary schools, secondary schools or work with the local lower school to offer a single primary school option for that community

• It is proposed that in July 2019, both Year 7 and Year 8 pupils from middle schools  converting to primary schools, transfer to secondary school in Year 8 and Year 9   respectively

Bedford Borough is working with schools on a new approach to recruitment and retention of top quality teachers.85% of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT’s) are still teaching in Bedford Borough after 1 year compared to 62% nationally. 

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