Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We're asking for feedback on plans to change schools in the Cranfield and Marston area

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

We've launched a consultation on a proposal for lower schools in the Cranfield and Marston area to become primaries from 1 September 2025.

This could also see the closure of the unattended Shelton Lower School.

The proposal would see Marston Moreteyne VC-Voluntary Controlled School (Church End), Marston Moreteyne VC-Voluntary Controlled School (Forest End), Thomas Johnson Lower School, and Houghton Conquest Lower School all change their age range, with some small expansion of places to Thomas Johnson and Houghton Conquest.

If these proposals are agreed, they would provide enough school places to meet local demand and therefore, Shelton Lower School, which has had no pupils on roll for two years, could be closed.

However, the Shelton Lower School site is currently occupied by Jigsaw, which is a vital service for vulnerable children from all over Central Bedfordshire. And, asked for views on the future use of the school in the non-statutory consultation held at the end of last year, most respondents were in favour of its continued use as an education provision.

A spokesperson said:

The proposals which we would like residents' views on are to change council-maintained schools in the Cranfield and Marston area from lower schools to primaries.

Unfortunately, this could mean the closure of Shelton Lower School, though the site would be maintained for educational use. It is currently used as a much-needed alternative provision for vulnerable children.

Once again, we'd welcome feedback from parents and the local community on these proposals to recommend a final decision to Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Committee where, later this year, they will either agree or reject the proposals.

You can have your say online via the Schools for the Future website up to and including the closing date of 15 June.

We're holding a series of online webinars and in-person question-and-answer sessions during the statutory consultation if you would like to speak with us about the proposals. The in-person events are drop-in sessions, but you will need to register for the online sessions, which are:

The details of these events will be published on the Schools for the Future website where all the latest information about the Schools for the Future proposals for the Cranfield and Marston area can be found.

Academies in the Cranfield and Marston area are also proposed to change to the two-tier model of education, but as we're not the decision-maker, academies will undertake a parallel process and carry out their own consultation before submitting a business case for the changes to the Department for Education (DfE).