We have a sponsor for our new secondary school in Houghton Regis
New sponsor decided
On September 30, 2020, the Regional Schools Commissioner approved Advantage Schools to run the new secondary school to be built on the Kingsland campus in Houghton Regis.
After a strong round of applications, Advantage Schools was our preferred choice of provider for when the new school opens in September 2022, for 900 pupils aged 11 to 16 and 220 sixth-form students aged 16 to 18.
The multi-academy trust currently operates two free schools in Bedfordshire: Bedford Free School, a secondary school which opened in Bedford in September 2012, and Elstow School, a primary school in Elstow, which was a founding member of Advantage Schools when it joined with Bedford Free School in April 2017.
A four week consultation period was undertaken between 22 January and 19 February 2020 to seek feedback on the proposal. This included copies of the preliminary consultation document being sent to the 22 multi-academy trusts that operate within Central Bedfordshire, as per the Department for Education’s database ‘Get Information About Schools’. There was an opportunity for potential sponsors to request a meeting with our officers during this initial process. Requests were received from the representatives of four multi-academy trusts and meetings were held on 10 February 2020.
At these meetings, officers gave an overview of the proposal and why it is required. Issues raised in the meetings included:
- the current situation regarding Houghton Regis Academy, the reasons for its potential closure and what is being put in place ahead of the closure
- the opportunity to work with the Greenwood Academy Trust, which operates Houghton Regis Academy, ahead of the opening of the new secondary school
- the housing growth within the area
- the primary feeders and the demographics of the pupils
- revenue funding for the new school
- plans for the whole of the Kingsland site
- the proposed operation of the new joint-use leisure centre
The school specification was issued on 31 March 2020.
Information and clarification session for potential sponsors
A virtual meeting was held on 20 April 2020 for potential sponsors.
Deadline for clarification questions
This was 5pm on Friday 15 May 2020.
Deadline for submission of proposals
Submissions must have been received by midday on Wednesday 10 June 2020.