Research issued: 24/06/2015
In challenging financial times, we are committed to support pupils to achieve the best education possible.
Bedford Borough Council became a unitary authority in April 2009, as part of a series of local government reorganisations across the country.
It is as a unitary authority, we are responsible for all local government functions within our geographical boundaries – which includes education.
To achieve the step-change that was desired we needed to address three problems.
First, we needed better space. This was because of years of under-investment by the Council which meant that many schools were working with wholly inadequate accommodation, including a plethora of temporary and mobile classrooms.
Second, we needed to provide more space. This was because the population of Bedford was (and is) growing. This growth in population numbers was putting significant pressure on class sizes and the overall capacities of schools.
Third, we had to do more with less. Bedford Borough Council were due to receive £326m through ‘Building Schools for the Future’ but unfortunately this funding stream was withdrawn in 2010.
Therefore, we needed better space, more of it and for less money than was ‘normal.’ It was clear that the council had to do something drastically different.
This report celebrates the success that Bedford Borough Council has had in solving our education property problems. We have achieved this by watching the pennies and setting difficult challenges that we have worked through with a team of experts. I am sure you will agree, we are now in much better place to help our young people succeed too.
The pupils take a real pride in their new buildings, and this is reflected in their positive approaches to lessons.
Mrs Headland, Headteacher Cotton End Lower School