Future growth and school places in Central Bedfordshire
We have the responsibility for ensuring there are enough school places for the future and we have a role in supporting schools to improve, but we cannot do this without the cooperation of schools.
We are facilitating discussions between schools, helping them to work together, plan together and, very importantly, understand how one school's ambition for change can affect others and, ultimately, the community.
With the housing growth that is expected in Central Bedfordshire it’s even more important for us to work with schools to develop a plan together that delivers the right school places for the future.
Plans will be based on the evidence we have about the current supply and demand of school places and what we will need in the future, what the schools ambitions are for change and the predicted housing growth and increased demand.
To support collaboration, schools have organised themselves into eight local 'cluster' areas. All schools in these clusters meet each half term to discuss key issues - such as school places with the council as well as sharing ideas for improvements or good practice.
We are working closely with clusters (and individual schools) to consider the growth implications and to understand views and ambitions.
The clusters are:
- Shefford and Stotfold
- Ampthill and Flitwick
- Harlington Area Schools Trust (HAST)
- Dunstable and Houghton Regis
- Leighton Linslade
We are working with each cluster to help create local plans detailing how we meet future school places that will be required to meet our housing growth. These plans will include details of where schools may expand, where any new schools will be built and the structure of schools in the local area. Once they are completed and where any change is identified, we will work with the local schools to consult widely so that current and future generations of parents have the opportunity to inform future plans.
These clusters are also forums for schools to work together on school improvement, with the council acting as independent and impartial brokers and evaluators for school improvement support.