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3 February 2010, 05:41 | Updated: 3 February 2010, 05:42
A two-tier system for Bedford's schools has moved a step closer.
That's because Bedford Borough Council is now officially part of the national Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.
In a meeting which took place on Wednesday 27th January, key personnel from Bedford Borough Council met with representatives of Partnerships for Schools, which is the Government organisation responsible for delivering the national programme.
The Council’s plans were discussed in detail and the green light was given for Bedford Borough to move forward with the project.
It doesn't mean however that funding has been approved for the change to definitely happen.
Bedford Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr David Sawyer said: "After many years of talking about the opportunities BSF could bring to Bedford Borough we are delighted to have passed this landmark stage in the process. We believe the BSF Project will help deliver improved standards across the Borough and transform teaching and learning in all our secondary schools so that all our young people receive a first class education.
"We have to now produce some detailed plans setting out exactly how we're proposing to improve our schools and rebuild the Upper schools to become Secondaries. It'll take about a year until we get to the stage where the final plans are approved and then we'll be given clearance to start the building."
Following the Council’s decision to move to a primary and secondary school system, under the Bedford Schools for the Future project, all upper schools will become secondary schools and will be rebuilt and remodeled.
The BSF programme was launched by the Government in 2003. It is a national programme that aims to raise standards of education by transforming secondary schools. Through BSF, every secondary school in England will be rebuilt or upgraded over the next 15 to 20 years.
Tim Byles, Chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools, said: “The remit milestone marks the start of Bedford Borough’s BSF journey which seeks to improve the life chances of not only local school pupils but communities as a whole. With 146 schools and over 125,000 pupils benefiting from BSF investment across the country, I look forward to similar work taking place in Bedford to offer pupils the best start in life.”