Beds, Herts & Bucks

Extra school places in Bedfordshire agreed

Proposals for 900 extra school places in Bedfordshire across five schools have been agreed by a council.

Central Bedfordshire Council approved five projects covering Ampthill, Biggleswade and Marston to increase places from September 2014.

The plans are part of its New School Places programme which is due to cost more than £100m to implement by 2018.

It follows estimates that the school population for the area will increase by 6,000 over the next five years.

Plans involve building new classrooms and schools rearranging their current spaces.

Bigger intake

Council-run Church End Lower School in Marston is set to get another 180 places, to increase capacity to 450, and parents and residents will be consulted.

In Ampthill, two academies are set to expand, with Redbourne Upper School growing by 200 extra places and Almeda Middle School getting 120 additional pupils.

Another academy, Stratton Upper School in Biggleswade, will gain 400 places to provide a total of 1,650, and a consultation will be held because of the large number.

Vandyke Upper School, in Leighton Buzzard, has already had a bigger intake due to new housing developments in the town and will get more money to make better use of its current space.

The proposals will be subject to planning applications and academies will also need approval from Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The council will make a final decision in August.

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