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Funding approved for Lawnside Academy to become a primary school

The conversion of Lawnside Academy from a lower school to a primary has taken a major step forward after capital funding was agreed by Central Bedfordshire Council.

The financial support comes alongside approval by the council’s Executive for maintained schools in the Biggleswade cluster to move to the two-tier model of education.

The transition is set to take place in September 2024, with academies and maintained schools across the cluster becoming either primary or secondary.

CBC’s capital funding package includes £14m from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund and will enable the construction of new buildings and facilities at schools that will require changes to support their transition from three-tier.

Lawnside Academy Principal Cheryl Johnson said: “This is a major step forward for the Biggleswade cluster and CBC’s approval of funding paves the way for an exciting new future for Lawnside as a primary school.

Cheryl Johnson: 'This is a major step forward for the Biggleswade cluster.'

“The design and planning is in progress for additional classrooms as well as other facilities to support our transition to two-tier.

“I am looking forward to the plans for our school being finalised and, subject to planning consent, the implementation of agreed building changes starting later this year.”

Dr Alan Lee, Chief Executive Officer for the Bedfordshire Schools Trust, said: “We’re delighted CBC has approved this latest stage in the cluster plan, which is fantastic news for families not just at Lawnside, but across the Biggleswade area as a whole.

“BEST is currently working closely with the DfE’s Regional Director for the East of England on our change of age range application, which is a requirement as part of the parallel process for academies.”