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Notice of Intention to close school



 

Margaret Beaufort Middle School

Notice of Intention to close school

Full Proposal Document

Name, address and category of the school proposed for closure

Margaret Beaufort Middle School, High Street Riseley, Bedford MK44 1DR. This school is an academy.

Proposed closure date

Proposed date of closure is 31 August 2017.

Objectives, reason for closure and why closure of the school is considered necessary

In July 2015 the Council wrote to all schools regarding the school system in Bedford Borough moving to a primary and secondary system with a single transfer at age 11. This would bring schools in Bedford in line with the vast majority of schools elsewhere in the country.  Primary schools and a secondary school already exist in some parts of the Borough and several Upper Schools in the area already admit some pupils at age 11. The Borough consulted on the principle of a two - tier education system in November 2015. The principle received widespread support across the Borough; in January 2016, the Council’s Executive agreed that the structure of education in Bedford Borough should change largely to two - tier from September 2017.

Representatives from Bedford Borough Council have discussed how best to provide education in the area, (within the context of an emerging two-tier education system in the Local Authority), with the Local Governing Boards of both Riseley Lower and Margaret Beaufort Middle Schools.

It has been proposed by the Borough Council that a one primary school is formed operate in the Riseley village.  

To achieve this outcome, one of the existing schools needs to close. This will be Margaret Beaufort School.

Particular benefits of this proposal will be:

 

  • the continuation of the curriculum, whereby there is

  • a single school will be accountable for attainment at Key stage 1 and 2 within the locality

  • within the national curriculum a single school can ensure that there are no gaps in what the children are taught

  • whole-school planning, which can map the progress of curriculum subjects all the way to Year 6 ensuring the foundations built lower down the school, is carried through allowing all children to continue working in an environment that completes the entire primary education in a single setting

  • sustaining high standards of education and maintain the nurturing and well-being of children by

  • nurturing children and helping them work together towards their aspirations in the same organisation

  • offering children in Years R - 6 an exciting and innovative curriculum provision that meets their needs and supports them to achieve their full potential

  • increasing parental choice with regard to the variety of primary options and opportunities that are being offered

  • avoiding transitions at the end of both Year 4 and Year 8; ensuring that the provision at the school links with other local providers
  • to continue to drive up standards in Bedford Borough to meet the local area vision for development, including the progress of vulnerable groups
  • aiding teacher recruitment and retention as, with fewer and fewer local authorities having a three tier system, the teacher education institutions no longer deliver middle years education training.
  • with transfer at 11, the same school will be able to deliver the whole of KS2 and be accountable for progress from KS1 to KS2
  • transition points will match the end of national curriculum key stages and be in line with 95% of the country

 

Problems with different arrangements across the borough for schools are that:

  • the system is confusing for parents

  • low numbers of middle schools nationally mean difficulties in recruitment

  • teachers are no longer trained for the middle years

Pupil numbers and admissions

There are currently 324 pupils on roll at the school.

 

Y5

Y6

Y7

Y8

Total

Boys

24

42

43

55

164

Girls

30

44

45

41

160

Total

54

86

88

96

324

SEN

20

15

16

14

65

 

65 pupils are recorded as having special educational needs. The school’s age range is 9 -13 years, and provision is available for boys and girls. There is no boarding provision. All pupils are of compulsory school age.

Details of the schools at which displaced pupils will be offered places

School places will continue to be required for this age range in the area. Moving to two tier means that the school places will now be in primary schools and secondary schools instead of being in middle schools. The Council is supporting expansion where this is required.

All pupils will have a clear path for their education.  Pupils who are currently in years 6, 7 and 8 will progress to secondary/upper school. Current year 6 and 8 pupils have applied for a place in year 7 or year 9 as appropriate starting in September 2017 as part of the normal transfer process. A separate transfer process has been set up for current year 7 pupils, who will move into year 8 in a secondary school in September 2017, with the following schools:

  • Sharnbrook Academy

Parents have a right to express a preference for any school in addition to those schools listed above.

Pupils that joined the school in year 5 in September 2016 will transfer automatically onto the roll of Riseley Primary, the continuing school, for September 2017 for year 6. No application will be required. No pupil on roll at Margaret Beaufort Middle School will be left without a school place.

Impact on the community

No impact on the community is anticipated.

Balance of denominational provision

Not applicable

Maintained nursery schools

Not applicable

Provision for 16-19 year olds

Not applicable

Special educational needs (SEN) provision

Margaret Beaufort Middle School does not have a provision that is reserved for pupils with special educational needs.

Related proposals

This proposal is related to the proposal to enlarge and alter the upper age limit of Riseley Primary School from 1 September 2017.

Statement on procedure for obtaining copies of this proposal.

Any person wanting a copy of this proposal can do so by contacting: 

Colin Foster on colin.foster@bedford.gov.uk

Statement on procedure for commenting on the proposal, either to object or support

Any person or organisation may object or make comments on the proposal can do by sending them to: Colin Foster, Borough Hall Cauldwell Street Bedford MK429AP

All comments must be received by 5pm on 12 June 2017.