Biggleswade Academy set to temporarily take extra pupils
Biggleswade Academy is set to gain an increased number of middle school pupils from the start of the next academic year.
The school in Mead End will temporarily be able to admit up to 60 Year 5 pupils for the September 2018 and 2019 intakes.
Subject to planning permission being granted, an extra classroom block will be built on the existing school site, with additional car parking and an outdoor play area.
Biggleswade Academy is run by Life Academies Trust, whose chief executive Stephen Phillips said: “We are excited to be working with Central Bedfordshire Council on this project and welcome the proposed plan for an additional new classroom block on our main academy site.
“This will enable us to welcome and accommodate more pupils into our trust, where they will experience the excellent education provided by Biggleswade Academy.
“We very much look forward to being a part of their educational journey.”
Central Bedfordshire Council owns the land on which the new additional parking and outdoor play area will be built.
The temporary increase in pupil numbers was approved by the council’s executive at a meeting last week, with the goal of meeting local demand for middle school places.
Councillor Steven Dixon, who represents Stotfold and Langford and holds the council’s education portfolio, said: “The council’s aim is for all children to be able to attend a good school on their doorstep, and temporarily expanding Biggleswade Academy will allow us to do just that.
“Biggleswade and the surrounding areas are very popular places for families. Because of that, our pupil forecasting has shown an unprecedented demand for Year 5 places in the area next September.
“The academy fully understands the situation and I wish to thank them for working with us to find a solution.”
As the expansion is temporary rather than permanent, no formal consultation process is needed.
Biggleswade Academy replaced Holmemead Middle School on its conversion to academy status in 2012. Southlands Lower School also converted to become part of Biggleswade Academy in 2013.
The academy was last inspected by Ofsted in December 2014, and was rated ‘good’ overall – with ‘outstanding’ ratings in two out of five categories.