Have your say on proposal for second expansion at Biggleswade school

Biggleswade’s Edward Peake Church of England (VC) Middle School. Picture: Google Street View

Biggleswade’s Edward Peake Church of England (VC) Middle School. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

The views of parents, residents and more are being sought on a proposed expansion to Biggleswade’s Edward Peake Church of England Middle School.

Central Bedfordshire Council is conducting a preliminary consultation on a proposed expansion to the voluntary-controlled school in Potton Road for an additional 60 places in each year group.

The council has said the proposal “is in response to the increasing need for school places in Biggleswade as a result of additional homes that have been built and planned for the area”.

It is the second phase of expansion at Edward Peake – the first went ahead two years ago to provide 120 additional school places.

And other school expansions in the town have resulted in a new 420-place second campus for St Andrews Church of England VC Lower School in Bantock Way, plus two expansions of Biggleswade Academy, which have provided 120 additional lower school places and the replacement of temporary accommodation on the school site to re-provide 30 places.

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Councillor Steve Dixon, executive member for families, education and children at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Ensuring that all children have a place at a local school is a key role for the council – and with significant housing development in the area, there is a real need for new places in Biggleswade.

“We are working with Edward Peake on ways to develop the current site so that it can provide high-quality education for pupils while address the challenge of this significant increase in pupils within the established grounds.”

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Following this initial consultation period, the council will consider the results and decide whether to progress the proposals further to statutory consultation.

If the council publishes statutory notices, parents and other interested parties would have a further opportunity to put forward their views as part of a formal four-week statutory consultation.

A final decision will be made regarding the proposal at a meeting of the council’s executive in April 2019. If approved, the new places are expected to be ready for the 2020/21 academic year.

A public drop-in session will be held on Monday, November 5, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Edward Peake for any interested parties to discuss the proposals and raise any queries.

To find out more go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council/consultations/edward-peake/overview.aspx.

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