Hazeldene Lower School Bedford
Hazeldene Lower School prospectus about 1995 [E/Pu4/4/75]
Hazeldene was one of the new schools created in Bedford in the years following the Education Act 1944. This act established the principle of county primary schools for children up to the age of 11, at which time they took an examination to determine the nature of the secondary school they would attend until they were 15, the most academically able going to grammar schools, the rest to secondary or secondary modern schools. Hazeldene was created as a county primary school and had an infants’ department, which became The Hills Lower School in the early 1970s. Hazeldene was administered by Bedford Borough Council rather than by the Local Education Authority (Bedfordshire County Council) as the borough was what was known as an excepted district. In 1974 the county council took over as LEA for schools in Bedford and Goldington.
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. At this point Hazeldene became a lower school.
In 2009 Bedfordshire County Council was abolished and Bedford Borough became, once more, LEA for Goldington. In 2016 and 2017 many Bedford lower schools changed to become primary schools for children aged up to eleven as three-tier education in Bedford Borough slowly and patchily reverted to two-tier - primary and secondary. At the time of writing however  Hazeldene remains a lower school.