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Putnoe Lower School Bedford

Putnoe Lower school prospectus about 1995 [E-Pu4-4-248]
Putnoe Lower School prospectus about 1995 [E/Pu4/4/248]

Putnoe 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. Putnoe was created as a county primary school and had a separate infants’ department, Putnoe County Primary Infants School. Both schools were 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 those from 9 to 13 and upper schools those from 13 onwards. At this point Putnoe junior and infant schools merged as Putnoe Lower School.

In 2009 Bedfordshire County Council was abolished and Bedford Borough became, once more, LEA for Bedford. Gradually,s chool by school, the county’s legacy of three-tier education was ditched and in 2011 Putnoe Lower school closed on the building of the new Putnoe Primary School for children aged up to eleven. The lower school site then became surplus to requirements.