Progress so far: planning for schools
Across Central Bedfordshire we have had consistent feedback from schools.
There is a recognition that the housing growth demands us to work together to plan for it, albeit that there are uncertainties about the volume and speed of its delivery.
There has also been feedback that we must learn from the experiences of schools who have gone through expansion or age range changes, and an acknowledgement that we will need greater coordination of any future changes.
Whilst our engagement has been driven by the need to plan for the future growth, it has also inevitably raised issues about the nature of the school models.
Across Central Bedfordshire, there is variety in the types of schools that are available with some cluster areas now being predominantly two-tier, others having retained the three-tier model and a third group having a mixture of schools.
Taking the area as a whole, the programme has established that a clear majority of schools have either already converted to primary / secondary schools, want to change their age range to this model, or are open to exploring a change to a primary / secondary or an extended secondary model.
In light of the programme engagement thus far, we've made some policy changes regarding the provision of new schools.
Specifically, we will:
- support schools and clusters that want to work towards a primary and secondary model, considering that:
- the appropriate resources are in place to do so;
- change is coordinated; and
- change supports improvements in educational outcomes.
- actively promote that any new schools that will be built will be primary or secondary