Have your say on school admission changes for next year

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Consultations about proposed changes to school admission arrangements affecting schools in Chronicle country is now open for feedback.

If approved, the changes would come into effect for the 2019/20 academic year.

Respondents are being asked to give their views on:

Amending the catchment area boundary for two Biggleswade schools – Lawnside Lower and St Andrew’s Lower (East)

The inclusion of four lower schools – Dunton VC Lower, Northill VA Lower, Sutton VA Lower and Wrestlingworth VC Lower – as named feeder schools in Edward Peake Middle School’s oversubscription criteria.

The consultations run until 1 December 2017 and decisions on the proposed changes will be made in February 2018.

The governing body of Edward Peake Middle School in Biggleswade has made a request to formalise the existing close ties with Dunton VC Lower, Northill VA Lower, Sutton VA Lower and Wrestlingworth VC Lower schools. Currently, the majority of pupils from these lower schools opt to continue their education at Edward Peake when transferring to middle school. All five schools give priority within their oversubscription criteria to practicing Church of England or other Christian families, and therefore this proposal will create a clear pathway for families wanting their children to follow a Church of England education.

Currently the St. Andrew’s and Ivel Manor housing developments, off Potton Road sit within the catchment area for Lawnside Lower School. However due to site constraints at the school, the additional school places needed to serve these developments have been created at St Andrew’s Lower (East). The new school was built to serve the numerous housing developments on the east of Biggleswade town, collectively known as Kings Reach housing estate. The proposal is to move the catchment boundary line of the two schools so that families moving to the new housing developments off Potton Road are within the catchment area of the St. Andrew’s Lower (East).

Councillor Steven Dixon, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “We review our admissions arrangements every year to make sure that they are as fair as possible for families applying for a school place for their child or children.

“That is why we are proposing these changes, and I would encourage parents, carers and anyone else affected by them to take part in the consultations and give us your views.”

You can read all of the supporting documents and have your online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations. Paper copies are also available in libraries, leisure centres and at schools.