Central Bedfordshire Council to Consult on School Admissions Arrangements

Central Bedfordshire Council's Executive has approved a consultation on its admission arrangements for voluntary controlled and community schools in 2017/18. 

The consultation approved by members yesterday includes proposals to alter Leighton Middle School's admissions criteria, and to amend the catchment area for Houghton Regis Primary School.

Looked-after or previously looked-after children, children living in the catchment area with siblings at the school, children living in the catchment area and other children who already have siblings at the school are currently given priority admission to Leighton Middle School, in Church Square.

After that, it is pupils who have spent three years or more at a Leighton Buzzard, Linslade or Hockliffe lower schools such as Beaudesert, Clipstone Brook, Dovery Down, Greenleas, Heathwood, Leedon, Linslade, Mary Bassett, Pulfords, Southcott, St. George's, St Leonard's, Stanbridge and Hockliffe.

The approved consultation will ask people to have their say on removing this specific admissions criterion.

It will also ask respondents to have their say on expanding the catchment area for Houghton Regis Primary School to cover all of the Tilia Park housing development. Currently, a small proportion of homes on the recently built development fall into the catchment area for another school.

The six-week consultation will now begin next Monday (12 October) before the final decision is taken by Executive Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Mark Versallion.

If the proposals are agreed they will come into force for the 2017/18 academic year.

Cllr Versallion said: "I am pleased that Executive has approved this consultation and would encourage everyone affected to have their say on the proposed changes.

"By removing the criterion relating to previous attendance at a lower school in the Leighton Buzzard area, the admissions criteria for Leighton Middle will be brought into line with the majority of the council's other schools and will be fairer to new families moving into the school's catchment area.

"The catchment area for Houghton Regis Primary was drawn up before Tilia Park development was built and it makes sense for all primary aged children living there to fall into the same catchment area."

Anyone wishing to have their say on the proposed changes can do so from Monday at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations