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Mark Rutherford School Bedford

Mark Rutherford Upper School crest about 1995 [E-Pu4-4-54]
Mark Rutherford Upper School crest about 1995 [E/Pu4/4/54]

Mark Rutherford School was built in the early 1970s by Bedford Borough Council and was named after Bedford-born novelist William Hale White (1831-1913) who used Mark Rutherford as a pen-name. Like most famous people born in the town Rutherford spent most of his life elsewhere.

The school began its life under Bedford Borough rather than the Local Education Authority (Bedfordshire County Council) because the borough was what was known as an excepted district. The school opened in 1973. In 1974 the county council took over as LEA for schools in Bedford and introduced comprehensive education, which inserted 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.

In 2009 Bedfordshire County Council was abolished and Bedford Borough became, once more, LEA for Bedford. In September 2011 Mark Rutherford became a secondary school for pupils aged eleven to nineteen, taking the older children from the closed Woodside Middle School.

Mark Rutherford Upper School about 1995 [E-Pu4-4-54]
Mark Rutherford Upper School about 1995 [E/Pu4/4/54]