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Abbey Middle School Elstow

The site of Abbey Middle School about 1950 [Z55/1/25]
The site of Abbey Middle School about 1950 [Z55/1/25]

 

In January 1958 a second school was opened in Elstow, Abbey County Secondary School for pupils aged 11 to 15. It lies on Mowbray Road, which is in Bedford, but the parish boundary runs through the front grounds, making the school buildings themselves in Elstow.

The school was built to serve part of Bedford Borough and the villages of Cardington, Cople, Cotton End, Haynes, Shortstown, Willington and Wilshamstead as well as Elstow itself. Additional buildings were provided in 1965 in the shape of a gymnasium and a practical block. A very detailed scrapbook of over three hundred pages called Abbey School, Elstow. The Early Years stretching from 1958 to 2002 is available in the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service Searchroom library.

In the 1970s Bedfordshire County Council introduced comprehensive education, doing away with the 11+ examination and grammar schools and introducing a tier of school between the old County Primary and County Secondary Schools. Thus Lower Schools now taught children aged 4 to 9, Middle Schools from 9 to 13 and Upper Schools from 13 onwards. Abbey County Secondary became Abbey Middle School in 1976.

In April 2009 the Local Education Authority, Bedfordshire County Council, was abolished. The new LEA for Elstow became Bedford Borough Council. At the time of writing [2012] it is planned that Abbey Middle School will close in summer 2014 as Bedford Academy takes younger children.

Abbey Middle School September 2007
Abbey Middle School September 2007