Last chance for say on two schools’ expansion

THIS is your last chance to have a say on the proposed expansion of two schools in Comet country.

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) launched a consultation in April on proposals to permanently extend Fairfield Park Lower School, near Stotfold, and Shefford Lower School to each provide 150 extra places. This will mean a total of 450 places at the Shefford school and 300 at Fairfield.

The headteachers and governors of both schools are backing the plan.

Following the consultation, CBC has now issued statutory notices outlining the proposals.

Mark Versallion, the council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “The council has worked closely with both schools on these proposals and the initial consultation has shown that the vast majority of parents in both areas are fully supportive of the proposed expansions.

“The feedback indicated a clear desire by those involved to move ahead with the plans.”

Tracey Callender, headteacher at Shefford Lower School, said the school’s governing body unanimously supports the proposals to expand the school.

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“For a number of years the lower school has operated at above its actual capacity and it has been able to accommodate additional pupils by delivering a number of minor extensions,” she explained.

“With recent and planned housing development in Shefford, this expansion will enable us to continue to provide places for local children at their local school.”

Jenny Stone, headteacher at Fairfield Park Lower School, added: “We are hopeful the proposals will get final approval. The extra capacity is much needed.”

The statutory notices for both schools are available at as well as at Shefford and Stotfold libraries and at the town councils’ offices.

The statutory notice period will end on July 9. Anyone wishing to comment on the proposals should do so by writing to the Director of Children’s Services, Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Chicksands, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ.

Following the statutory notice consultation and consideration of the responses, the council’s Executive will make the final decision on whether the proposals will be approved at its meeting on August 21.

The proposed changes, if approved, will be fully implemented from September next year.