Schools for the Future

 

Shefford Lower School is on a journey to becoming Shefford Primary School.

This means that children will remain with us until the end of year 6, when they are 11years old, rather than the end of year 4 when they are 9 years old.

In order to achieve this, the school will take in additional classes so that children do not have to move schools once they are enrolled here at Shefford Lower School.

In the proposals the school has been working to the admission of 90 children in each year group will alter and become 60 instead, with the larger year groups moving gradually through their school journey with us. The need for additional classroom space will be temporary – This is commonly known as the ‘bulge years’.

As the smaller year groups move through the school, the need for additional classrooms will decrease and will no longer be needed.

The ‘Schools for the Future’ project at Central Bedfordshire Council has been operating for a number of years. Head teachers and Boards of Governors have worked to support the best outcomes for the families attending our schools, under the wider banner of the project managed by the council. It has seen several iterations and amendments since its conception. The latest information from Central Bedfordshire can be found on their ‘Schools for the Future’ webpage: https://www.schoolsforthefuture.co.uk/plans/shefford-stotfold/overview

Shefford Lower School campaigned to remain a 3 form entry 90 pupil admission school and this was supported by the community within the consultation which ended in June 2020. However, the needs of the school cluster, and the wider picture for Central Bedfordshire dictated that the plan for 2023 would see a reduction of Shefford Lower School to a 2 form entry 60 pupil admission primary school. Following consultation and presentations given to schools, the council shared the ‘roadmap’ towards change with head teachers, and schools began project planning.

For Shefford Lower School, soon to be Shefford Primary School, this has always included liaising with staff and families. Our parent focus group arranged to meet half termly in response to the roadmap, and the timeline of delivery.

In August 2021, the council emailed schools to advise that a recalibration would need to take place. This was financially driven and linked to school places and local area growth. Head teachers and Boards of Governors have continued to work together to campaign for transparency, confirmation of timelines and project planning.

To date, (January 2022) Shefford Lower School does not have a confirmed project plan and timeline to share with families.

Schools for the Future Principles & Policies update 110222

Schools for the Future (SFTF) update 200422