About the Edward Peake Middle School consultation
Section 14 of the Education Act 1996 places a duty on councils to secure sufficient and suitable school places for 5 –16-year-old children in its area. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 gives councils a strategic role as commissioners, but not providers, of school places to promote parental choice, diversity, high standards, the fulfilment of every child’s educational potential and fair access to educational opportunity.
New middle school places are required in Biggleswade as a result of significant and continuing housing development in the town which local residents will be aware of.
Edward Peake Church of England Voluntary Controlled Middle School (Edward Peake) was expanded two years ago to provide 120 additional school places. Further school expansions in the town have resulted in a new, 420 place, second campus for St Andrews Church of England Voluntary Controlled Lower School on Bantock Way, plus two expansions of Biggleswade Academy, which have provided 120 additional lower school places and the replacement of temporary accommodation on the school site to re-provide 30 places.
We continuously work with schools in the area to review places and plan for the impact of demographic changes across the area and, as demonstrated by our Schools for the Future’ programme, to ensure that we have the right schools, in the right places, delivering the best education. The imminent and substantial pressure on existing provision and the need for more middle school places in Biggleswade is clear.
In response to this rapidly increasing need for school places, we've invited Edward Peake to expand by 60 places in each year group.
The Published Admission Number for the school is 150 pupils. The pupil populations predicted to come through for September 2020 are significantly greater than 150. This pressure on school places continues for the foreseeable future.
We're working with the school on ways to develop the current site such that it can continue to provide high quality education for pupils whilst addressing the challenge of this significant increase in pupils within the established grounds.
The proposal is for the new accommodation to be ready for the 2020/21 school year. The admission arrangements will be finalised and published in time for the school admissions process for children who are due to transfer to middle school in September 2020.
Why are we consulting with you?
For a proposed enlargement of school premises, we're required to follow the statutory process as set out in the Department for Education’s guidance for ‘Making prescribed alterations to maintained schools’.
Before the statutory consultation process commences, we are expected to consult interested parties in order to develop our proposal and consider all relevant considerations. This is known as the preliminary consultation and we are inviting you to ‘have your say’ at this preliminary stage regarding the proposed expansion of the school.
We're put together a list of questions and answers which will help to address some immediate concerns that you may have. There may be other questions you wish to raise, and we will be happy to respond to these at the public meeting at Edward Peake on 5 November.
Download the full consultation document (PDF 597.6KB)