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Mayor Dave Writes: Working With Schools for a Successful Two-Tier Transition

April 27, 2016 7:41 PM

A ClassroomWriting in the the Bedford Bulletin, Mayor Dave Hodgson has set out how the move to a two-tier schools system is being done with schools, not to them, and is being delivered with major investment to ensure a successful transition.

Here's the text of the column, which can also be read in April edition of the magazine online:

It's confirmed: following a public consultation showing emphatic support, the Borough's schools are moving to a two-tier system. This will complete a process which has already been started by some schools and in some areas. It will see the Council provide strategic leadership to ensure a coherent, coordinated system which offers clarity for children and families across the Borough.

The Borough's schools are already ranked number one in the Eastern region according to Ofsted gradings, and this change is about supporting them to raise standards even further.

We're investing £25 million to fund all the physical works required for a successful transition. These works are based on proposals from schools themselves, agreed with the Council. At every stage, this has not been a change imposed on schools, but carried out alongside them.

We are already in the process of replacing all temporary classrooms with permanent facilities, and have opened a series of new schools in recent years as part of a school building programme acclaimed as a model for the rest of the country by the Government's Chief Construction Adviser.

The two-tier decision follows extensive work alongside schools as they have drawn up plans for their own schools and school clusters. All three-tier schools responded to the invitation to move to a primary/secondary system, other than those in the Wootton cluster, which straddles the border with three-tier Central Bedfordshire.

Changes will begin in September 2017, and will be completed within three years. We want the whole process to be as open and clear for families as possible, and schools will communicate with their whole school communities on their particular arrangements. We've also set up a dedicated webpage, where you can stay up to date on this crucial project to deliver a high quality, coherent schools system for current and future generations of children: www.bedford.gov.uk/2tier