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New School Places In Ampthill, Biggleswade, Cranfield, Shefford and Stotfold

Author: Nick Pearce, Media Officer, CBC Published: 14th May 2013 16:38

New School Places In Ampthill, Biggleswade, Cranfield, Shefford and Stotfold Plans for commissioning new schools places for the start of the school year in 2015 were approved by members of Central Bedfordshire's Executive today (Tuesday 14 May). The proposals are part of our wider ‘New School Places' programme which ensures that every child has a place in a local school. With a growing local population it's estimated that our school population will increase by 6,000 over the next five years.

The proposals approved today recommend seven projects to expand and improve schools across Central Bedfordshire, all in areas where the local population is growing and demand for school places increasing. The schools are:

Russell Lower School, Ampthill - where the proposal is to expand from the current capacity of 300 places to provide a total of 450 places

Holywell Middle School (Academy), Cranfield - where the proposal is to expand from the current capacity of 544 places to provide a total of 720 places

St Andrews CofE VC Lower School, Biggleswade - where the proposal is to expand the existing school on to a second site to provide an extra 300 places

Cranfield Lower School (Academy) - where the proposal is to expand from the current capacity of 300 places to provide a total of 450 places

St Mary's Lower School (Academy), Stotfold - where the proposal is to expand from the current capacity of 225 places to provide a total of 300 places

Schools within the Bedfordshire East Multi Academy Trust - Robert Bloomfield Middle School, Shefford - where the proposal is to provide a total of 840 permanent places. And Etonbury Academy, Stotfold - where the proposal is to expand from the current capacity of 480 to provide a total of 600 middle school places and to change the school's age range to also commission 300 places to serve the upper school age range ( 13 -19 ).

Vandyke Upper (Academy), Leighton Buzzard - where the proposal will provide significant investment for the school to improve facilities that are already accommodating pupil growth from current housing developments within its catchment area.

Consultation will now commence with parents, residents and other interested parties on the plans to enlarge Russell Lower and St Andrews Lower. Holywell and Cranfield Academies will also need to consult as well as seeking approval from the Secretary of State for Education, as Etonbury has already done.

The Council's Executive will make a final decision in December to approve each of the proposals subject to planning applications and any other necessary approvals for the construction projects which will be sought prior to commencement of each of the proposals.

If approved, the new places will be available for the start of the new school year in September 2015.

Cllr Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children's Services, said:

"A key role for the Council is to ensure that all our children have a place at a local school. Our New School Places programme is a hugely important piece for work for us and we estimate that we'll spend over £100m in the next five years on implementing it.

"At the heart of all our work around education is a commitment to do everything we can to help our children and young people reach their potential, both academically and in terms of their personal development."

For more information about education in Central Bedfordshire, go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/learning/schools/going-to-school.aspx.

(image: CBC)

 

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