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Education and Research News

  • Dave Hodgson with children from Shortstown Lower School and Others Assembled for the turning of the first sod at the site of the new Shortstown Primary School
    Article: Mar 24, 2014

    Writing in his latest monthly column for the Times and Citizen, Mayor Dave Hodgson has congratulated local students and teachers for the remarkable recent achievements of local schools. In the article, Mayor Dave also writes about the recently-announced school investment plan, which will see all temporary classrooms in the borough replaced with high quality permanent facilities.

  • Mayor Dave Hodgson with apprentices from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
    Article: Mar 5, 2014

    This week is National Apprenticeship Week, with a range of events going on around the Borough to promote the benefits to individuals of seeking apprenticeship opportunities, and to employers of providing those opportunities. In January Mayor Dave Hodgson announced the Apprenticeship Challenge: "2016 in 2016". This followed an apprenticeships summit Mayor Dave convened where the Council, training and education providers and employers sat down and agreed to set an ambitious target to reflect the ambition they all have for increasing high quality apprenticeship opportunities for young people and adults. So, while we have already seen huge growth in apprenticeships in Bedford Borough recently, the Apprenticeship Challenge sets the shared challenge of achieving the annual figure of creating 2016 new apprenticeships in 2016.

  • Dave Hodgson with children from Shortstown Lower School and Others Assembled for the turning of the first sod at the site of the new Shortstown Primary School
    Article: Feb 23, 2014

    Bedford Borough Schools have received another major boost after a £48 million investment programme was approved by Mayor Dave Hodgson's Cabinet last week. The Schools Capital Investment Plan is part of Bedford Borough Council commitment under Mayor Dave to support schools to continue the remarkable recent progress locally in education, which includes confirmation that Bedford Borough is the best place in the country for a child to attend primary or lower school according to Ofsted gradings, for example, and a remarkable uplift in GCSE performance.

  • Classroom with School Children
    Article: Jan 29, 2014

    Mayor Dave Hodgson has repeated his congratulations to students and school staff after national figures published by the Department for Education confirmed the dramatic rise in 2013 in attainment at GCSE level across Bedford Borough Schools. In a year which saw the proportion of young people achieving five A* - C grades falling nationally, here in Bedford Borough this figure rose by a massive 6.3%, from 53.4% to 59.7%. This was by far the biggest improvement in performance across the Eastern region, and places Bedford Borough schools' GCSE performance above the national average.

  • Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behind
    Article: Jan 20, 2014

    Following dramatic growth in the number of apprenticeship places provided in Bedford Borough in recent years, an ambitious challenge has been set following an Apprenticeships Summit convened by Mayor Dave Hodgson: 2016 in 2016. Mayor Dave brought together key employers, training and educaction providers at the summit, which achieved a shared commitment that Bedford borough would see at least 2016 apprenticeships created per year by 2016. challenging themselves and each other to deliver a further dramatic rise in annual apprenticeships in Bedford Borough, or '2016 in 2016'. With dramatic growth in apprentice numbers already having been achieved in recent years, the '2016 in 2016' target would represent a further increase of 50% against current figures.

  • Mayor Dave Hodgson with Kempston Rural School Head Teacher Angela Stanbridge, Pupils and Representatives of Wilmott Dixon, Marking Start of Construction Phase of New School Site
    Article: Dec 23, 2013

    Mayor Dave Hodgson last week joined staff and pupils of Kempston Rural Lower School to turn the last nut in the steel framework and mark the launch of construction of new buildings for the school. The new £4.5 million construction will open in September 2014, and the school will operate as a two-form entry school for its reception years

  • Classroom with School Children
    Article: Dec 13, 2013

    Mayor Dave Hodgson has praised the work of local schools in driving up and maintaining high standards, following Ofsted's ranking of the Bedford Borough local authority area as the second best place in the country for a child to attend lower or primary school. Since the figures were compiled, a further school has moved into Ofsted's good or outstanding categories, meaning Bedford Borough would rank joint first in the national table, based on the proportion of children attending a good or outstanding school. Currently, an extraordinary 97% of children attend a good or outstanding primary or lower school.

  • Mayor Dave Hodgson Welcomes School Crossing Patrol Staff to the Mayor's Parlour to Mark Crossing Patrols' Diamond Jubilee 2013
    Article: Oct 26, 2013

    The fight to protect frontline services here in Bedford Borough in the face of the unprecedented, extraordinary funding crisis for local government is a vital one, as we are simply not prepared to allow the sort of widespread cuts seen in many other areas to happen here.

    This fight continues from week to week, as we work to identify and deliver savings in Borough Hall rather than out in the community, and we received further recognition recently from a national charity for our success in protecting one particular front line service. Living Streets, which campaigns in the interests of pedestrians and their safety, has singled out Bedford Borough Council for our commitment to saving lollipop men and women.

  • Dave Hodgson with children from Shortstown Lower School and Others Assembled for the turning of the first sod at the site of the new Shortstown Primary School
    Article: Jun 30, 2013

    Figures from the last financial year show that the Council invested around £26 million towards the improvement and maintenance of Bedford Borough schools in 2012/13.

    The projects ranged from the major, including the brand new Great Denham Primary School and the 10-class extension at Livingstone Lower School, to the less major but essential works such as boiler replacements, windows and much more amongst works which took place across 31 schools over the year.

  • Mayor Dave Hodgson Welcomes School Crossing Patrol Staff to the Mayor's Parlour to Mark Crossing Patrols' Diamond Jubilee 2013
    Article: Jun 28, 2013

    It was a real pleasure last week to welcome school crossing patrol staff to the Mayor's Parlour to mark the fact that 2013 is the Diamond Jubilee of the School Crossing Patrol in Britain.

    School crossing patrol staff are of course more commonly known as lollipop ladies/men, but whatever you call them, one thing that is certain is that they are unsung stalwarts of local public service.I have spent mornings out with school crossing patrol staff, so I know very well how dedicated they are to the crucial task of helping children stay safe, and have seen first hand the friendly and professional way in which they go about their job,

    In Bedford Borough we have 21 school crossing patrol staff, with the longest-serving member of the team, Joan Loft, having a truly remarkable 39 years of service behind her.

    I was thrilled to be able to present Joan and all of her colleagues with commemorative certificates and badges to recognise their efforts and the work they do day in, day out on behalf of children and families across the Borough. Whatever the weather, school crossing patrol staff are out there helping children stay safe on often very busy roads, stepping out in front of traffic and keeping the attention of the children to ensure they cross safely. All recognition of the vital role they carry out is well-deserved, and I'm glad I was able to say 'thank you' in this way last week.