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Potton Secondary Schools

Burgoyne Middle School August 2013
Burgoyne Middle School August 2013

Potton Senior Council School was created in 1931 for children older than eleven. It shared the same site as the junior school in Chapel Street.

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has an inspector’s report on it, dating from 1936 [E/IN1/1]. The inspector reported: “During the past four years there have been many changes of staff which have prevented any very settled progress – indeed at this visit the Head Master was the only member of staff of the four who had been there in April last year. Apart from this it is not an easy school to manage, as the premises are awkward and rather noisy, the playground small and of a bad shape, and the Practical rooms and garden do not immediately adjoin the school premises. At this visit, however, a very hopeful impression was gained. There was evidence of careful preparation by the teachers of notes, and models, and of provision of pictures, which had aroused a keenness and interest in the children, exemplified in many ways, which was not so obvious at earlier visits. Some good lessons were seen, as well as some good written work: and Needlework and the teaching in Art and Craft are now on much better lines. Backed by the present Staff the Head Master should soon have a really good school: there is good material to work on and the response of the retarded class to a young Mistress in Geography was very striking. The attitude towards Physical Training by the girls, who were wearing blazers and scarves, will improve, it is hoped, under the new regime. The boys change for Games”.

The third of the great Education Acts was that of 1944 which 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. Potton Council Senior School became Potton Secondary Modern School, though this closed in 1955 and the pupils were transferred to Sandye Place County Secondary School.

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. A new middle school opened in Potton in 1975: Burgoyne Middle School. It shares the same site as the new Potton Lower School in Everton Road.

Burgoyne Middle School sign
Burgoyne Middle School sign