from Central Bedfordshire Council PR 989 23/03/2012 [For Immediate Release: received 2nd April]
Central Bedfordshire Council councillors have shown their support for plans to set up an innovative Alternative Provision ‘free school’in Central Bedfordshire.
The new facility would offer locally based high quality education for up to 140 pupils, and be dedicated to providing a positive educational experience and improved outcomes to pupils who might otherwise be excluded from school and / or who need extra personalised support to help them to succeed.
The plans, which have been submitted to the Department for Education, were developed by a consortium of all 10 Upper Schools in Central Bedfordshire, and Oak Bank School for pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD), supported by representatives from Middle Schools and the Council.
The Council has given its strong backing to the bid, by providing funding and two existing Council owned buildings to house the new school. The proposed school will be located at the existing Kingsland site in Houghton Regis, and the former Roecroft Lower School site in Stotfold.
Speaking about the proposals, Cllr Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am hopeful that the bid will be successful. We feel it is a very strong proposal, which is supportive of current Government policy.
We have shown our strong support for the bid by providing the funding for the current Pupil Referral unit and two sites to accommodate the new school.
It is a demonstration of our commitment as a Council and that of both Upper and Middle schools to raise standards and ensure the very best educational opportunities for some of the most vulnerable pupils in Central Bedfordshire.”
Nigel Croft, Head of Redborne Upper School and Chair of the Upper School Heads’ Bid, said: “Our bid puts Central Bedfordshire Council and its 10 Upper Schools at the forefront of Government thinking. The new facility will provide for our presently permanently excluded pupils and give them the appropriate pathways and curriculum to succeed in either employment or further training.”