Schools for the Future - A New Secondary School for Houghton Regis

Update 14 October 2019: Houghton Regis Academy will remain open until the new school is ready. "There will be a smoothe transaction." - councillors at last weeks' CBC Council meeting. Watch the interactions here

Tue, 8th Oct 2019 - 9:30 am: Schools for the Future - Commissioning of a New 10 Forms of Entry Central Bedfordshire Council, Executive

Agenda - Purpose of the Meeting

Full Video of Meeting

Video of Item 'New Secondary School for Houghton Regis'

Video of Local Councillor, Seat 13, Cllr Patrick Hamill

Video of Local Councillor, Seat 8, Cllr Susan Goodchild:

HRND Summary

Our summary below draws on information from the Executive agenda which can be read in full.

What is Happening

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) is engaging with the  Department for Education to maximise the basic need grant. CBC has secured funds for secondary education from the main developers around Houghton Regis. The triggers for the release of their funds are projected up to 2032 and subject to the rate of occupation and the rate that new homes are built. 

Paying for a New School

CBC is required to forward fund the capital sum to have the school open to meet the immediate forecast need for school places. Based on an estimated build cost of £37million funded through a combination of £28.8M developer contributions and £8.2million CBC contribution, the revenue implications for the Council’s General Fund and Council Tax is an estimated £260,000 p.a. over 50 years.
Source: CBC Executive meeting Agenda

Houghton Regis Academy Closure

‘Academy’ is the legal term for state-funded schools that are independent of local authority control and receive their funding directly from Central Government.
The Greenwood Academies Trust has sought closure by mutual consent and following Lord Agnew’s in-principle agreement is now at stage 4 of the process (see the table below). If this stage concludes with a substantive decision it will trigger a trust led listening period to engage with stakeholders and interested parties to seek their views on how the school closure process can be best managed. (RSC = Regional Schools Commissioners)
Stages of the Academy closure: source Exec meeting Agenda

If the Secretary of State makes a final decision that Houghton Regis Academy should close, a new school must be sought to meet the immediate and long-term forecast need for a 10-forms of entry secondary school. It is not forecast that the full 10 forms of entry will be required by 2022 and the proposal is for the school to open over two phases, with the second phase subject to the rate of further demographic growth in the area. In providing a phased expansion of the new school, this will enable remaining local secondary schools to be sustainable and not be adversely affected by the movement of pupils.

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