Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Next step approved for changes to schools in the Woburn Sands area

Friday, 17 July 2020

The next stage of a plan to change schools in Woburn Sands and the surrounding villages has today (Friday 17 July) been approved as part of the Schools for the Future programme.

The programme will ensure Central Bedfordshire has the right schools, in the right places, delivering the best education.

Schools have been working together with us on this long-term plan to meet the demands for new school places, as Central Bedfordshire grows by up to 43,00 new homes by 2035.

A statutory consultation will begin in September and give residents a final chance to provide feedback on plans for Aspley Guise and Swallowfield lower schools to convert to primary schools in 2022.

Fulbrook Middle School, which is an academy, will have to submit a business case to the Regional Schools Commissioner regarding its plans to become an extended secondary in 2022 and then transition to become a secondary school in 2024.

Today’s decision follows a 12-week public consultation in the spring on proposals for the schools within Woburn Sands and surrounding villages, known locally known as the Fulbrook pyramid, to move to a primary and secondary model.

The proposals originally consulted on also included a plan for Husborne Crawley, Woburn and Ridgmont lower schools to work together as a federation as soon as possible and to come together as a single primary school on a new site in 2024.

However, after listening to consultation feedback, it has been agreed that this option to amalgamate on a new site will be consulted on again, once a location is identified.

The changes also provide an opportunity to increase special educational needs and disability (SEND) services in local schools.

Councillor Sue Clark, our Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

This decision marks another positive step towards providing parents and pupils with more choice and the option to attend school closer to where they live.

We’re also really delighted that we’ve been able to support Fulbrook Middle School’s ambition to become a secondary and we know this will be very popular with families who live in the area and will now be able attend secondary school locally.

Should these proposals be approved they will also help the schools in Leighton-Linslade accommodate some of the increased demand from the new homes in that area.

Schools and the Council have also recognised that a significant number of families and residents wanted more clarity of the location of a new site for Husborne Crawley, Woburn and Ridgmont lower schools before they could provide an informed response on those proposals.

That’s perfectly understandable, so we’ve listened to that feedback and will consult with people again, once there is a preferred option for a site.