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Schools to take in more students

By Luton On Sunday  |  Posted: April 19, 2012

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Houghton Regis Lower Schools have been given the green light to extend their age range.

Councillor Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, has given the go ahead for four lower schools in Houghton Regis to extend their age range to cater for pupils aged 3 to 11.

The schools are Hawthorn Park Lower School, Thomas Whitehead CofE VA Lower School, Thornhill Lower School and Tithe Farm Lower School.

The decision comes at the end of a period of  consultation and is fully supported by the head teachers and Governors at all four schools.

The changes will mean there will be:

  • 420 places for pupils aged 5-11 in the main school at Hawthorn Park, including provision for 79 part time nursery places
  • 308 places for pupils aged 5-11 in the main school at Thomas Whitehead, including provision for 44 part time nursery places
  • 210 places for pupils aged 5-11 in the main school at Thornhill Lower School,  including 60 part time nursery places
  •  420 places for pupils aged 5-11 in the main school at Tithe Farm Lower School, including 78 part time nursery places

Cllr Mark Versallion, said: “This is a decision which is right for Houghton Regis. It reflects the commitment of the schools, teachers and parents to raise standards for children and young people in the area. There is a strong belief within all four schools that removing the disruption of a school transfer in year four will be particularly beneficial.

"There was significant parental support and demand for the proposed change in age range at each of the four schools.

"This is an important decision, that is likely to prompt other schools to look at their provision and could lead to a wider reshaping of the education system within Central Bedfordshire.

"Some Academies in the area have already applied to the DfE to extend their age ranges and the outcome of these applications will provide some certainty about the future of provision within the area.”

The changes will be implemented from September 2013

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