School Organisation and Capital Planning team

School place planning and new places

We fulfil our statutory duty, as a commissioner of school places, by making sure that sufficient school places are available for every child in Central Bedfordshire.

Our School Organisation Plan (PDF 1.5MB) , which is refreshed and published annually, outlines expected changes in pupil population over the next 5 years and our proposals for delivering additional school places where required.

The plan takes into account Central Bedfordshire's Partnership Vision for Education 2015 - 2019 (PDF 94.1KB) .

We secure and deliver the capital investment required to ensure choice and diversity in providing sufficient high-quality school places. Funding is provided from a range of sources, including the Department for Education and from developer contributions negotiated by the council for new school places where required as a result of new housing.

Our original New School Places Programme, a five year investment programme subject to annual refresh, of 6500 new school places, was approved by our Executive in March 2012.

In August 2018, the Executive considered a report regarding the Schools for the Future project which has been developed to ensure that we have the right school
places in the right locations to deliver the best education outcome in the long-term, beyond the 5-year period covered by the New School Places programme.

11 principles

When planning new school places, 11 principles are applied through the evaluation against all commissions, while also considering our statutory obligations to promote parental choice, diversity, high standards, the fulfilment of every child’s educational potential, and fair access to educational opportunity:

  • the need to provide local schools for local children, ensuring a sense of community belonging whilst also promoting sustainable modes of travel
  • the need to create schools that are of sufficient size to be financially and educationally viable
  • the ability to support the expansion of local popular and successful schools, or to link expanding schools with popular and successful schools
  • the potential to further promote and support robust partnerships and learning communities
  • the ambition to achieve a single phase of education 0 to 19 and reduce school transfer points
  • the need to support the raising of the participation age
  • to seek opportunities to create inspirational learning environments for the school, and to maximise community use
  • to promote the diversity of provision offered in Central Bedfordshire to increase opportunities for parental choice
  • to support vulnerable learners in area special schools and integrate appropriate special educational needs provision within mainstream schools

Principles 10 and 11

Also, in response to the engagement that had taken place with schools regarding the Schools for the Future project, two additional principles were approved in August 2018:

  • to support schools and clusters of schools that want to work towards a primary and secondary model
  • to actively promote that any new schools that will be built will be primary or secondary

More information

Information on the latest pupil numbers and capacities at Central Bedfordshire schools can be found in the Performance Hub.

Download a summary of the current projects (link opens in new window) within the New School Places Programme that have been completed or are underway.

If you require any additional information regarding this plan, please contact us at