Academy plans to expand its pupil numbers

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A consultation will be launched next month about plans to expand Arnold Academy.

That’s after Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive today (6 December) granted approval to launch the process.

It will run from 4 January 2017 to 1 February 2017 and ask for people’s views on expanding the middle school in Barton-le-Clay by one form of entry (30 pupils) from September 2018.

If the expansion scheme is approved, that would eventually mean an extra 120 places to cope with growing demand in the village and surrounding areas.

As part of the consultation process, a drop-in event will be held at the school on 19 January 2017.

As Arnold is an academy then it will be up to the school’s governing body and not the council to make a final decision on the plans, subject to approval by the Department for Education and planning permission being granted.

Councillor Steven Dixon, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “There is rising demand for middle school places in Barton-le-Clay, and Arnold Academy has already agreed to take in more pupils than its planned admission number in September 2017. That’s why this expansion scheme has been proposed.

“I would encourage parents, residents and anyone else with an interest in the proposed expansion scheme to have their say in the consultation and to visit the drop-in event.

“All feedback is incredibly valuable in helping to shape any plans and also influencing the final decision.”

The consultation will be on Arnold Academy’s website (www.arnoldacademy.org.uk) from 4 January 2017 and paper copies will also be available at the school.