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Goldington Academy

Goldington Middle School crest about 1995 [E-Pu4-4-48]
Goldington Middle School crest about 1995 [E/Pu4/4/48]

Goldington County Secondary School was created in 1946. The Education Act of 1944 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 like Goldington. The school was administered by Bedford Borough Council rather than the Local Education Authority (Bedfordshire County Council) as what was known as an excepted district.

In December 1950 the school was inspected. The report [E/IN1/3] is very lengthy but the following extracts give a good flavour of the school in its early years. At this point the school was still operating at Goldington Road County Primary School - now part of Castle Newnham School in Goldington Road, the current buildings having yet to be erected.

“This new School started on its career under the present Head Master in 1946 when the all-age boys’ and all-age girls’ departments on the site were reorganised as County Secondary and Primary Schools. Owing to the shortage of accommodation, however, it was not until 1948 that it became possible to provide in this School for the full number of pupils requiring secondary education in the area. Up to that time the older age groups went to the Harpur Secondary School, which had previously, as a Selective Central School, taken some of the more able pupils. The School, in its present form, has only completed one full year. The increase in population combined with the necessity for providing for the 14-15 age group has added to the accommodation problem. There are now 353 pupils of secondary school age, mainly drawn from the immediate neighbourhood, though a few come from nearby villages, being educated on a site of 2½ acres, together with Junior and Infant children in their own departments”.

“There are fourteen full-time members of staff, in addition to the Master of the Handicraft Centre. Of these, seven have had less than three years’ experience”.

“The tone of the school is good. The pupils are friendly and natural, well-mannered and taking pride in their appearance. The staff give generously to the communal life of the School: school plays involving Drama, Art, Music and Dancing, the result of staff co-operation, are produced periodically; the lack of a playing field of their own has neither prevented the boys and girls from forming their teams for games, nor hindered them from challenging other schools”.

“This School is only just over the threshold of its work; a promising beginning has been made and it now remains for the Head Master and Staff to concentrate on the process of consolidation, and on the building up of a strong tradition”.

The new school, in its current [2017] premises, opened in 1964. In 1974 Bedford Borough relinquished its education role to the county council. At this time the 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. Goldington County Secondary Modern duly became Goldington Middle School.

In 2009 Bedfordshire County Council was abolished and Bedford Borough became, once more, LEA for Goldington. The school, however soon became an academy, freeing it from a considerable amount of LEA control. In 2017 the school status changed further when it became, once more, a secondary school for children aged eleven to eighteen as three-tier education in Bedford Borough slowly and patchily reverted to two-tier - primary and secondary.

Goldington Middle School about 1995 [E-Pu-4-4-48]
Goldington Middle School about 1995 [E/Pu4/4/48]