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Harrold Secondary School

Priory Middle School January 2008
Priory Middle School January 2008

Harrold Senior Council School

This new school, for children aged 11 to 14 was officially opened on Monday 31st May 1937 at 3 p.m. by Robert Skinner JP, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. The headmaster was J.G.Watson with the following assistants: Mr.E.Birch; Mr.C.Berry (handicraft); Miss M.E.Hand; Miss J.M.Mandale BA; Miss K.N.Rose (Domestic Subjects).

The official opening booklet stated: "The Senior School which will have accommodation for 200 children will provide educational facilities for scholars of 11 years of age and over from Harrold, Turvey, Carlton, Odell, Podington and Wymington. In these buildings provision is made for Cookery and Laundrywork for the girls, and Woodwork and Metalwork for the boys, and various forms of Craftwork. Classrooms will provide accommodation for the more formal subjects of the curriculum and adequate provision is made for the teaching of Science. In addition there is a large hall which will serve for Assembly, Physical Training, etc., and, adjoining, a changing room fitted with showers. Staff rooms, store rooms, cloakrooms and lavatories, complete the building.

"The plans have been drawn with a view to extensions, should these prove necessary in the future. To provide a hot mid-day meal, which is a feature of reorganisation schemes in Bedfordshire, a well equipped kitchen has been included. This adjoins the Domestic Subjects Room with which it is connected by a service hatch.

"The buildings which have been designed by the County Architectural Staff, have been erected by Messrs C.Clayson & Sons, of Harrold.

"The schools are equipped with up-to-date furniture supplied by the Educational Supply Association, Ltd., of Stevenage and London.

"Apart from the actual school buildings, the site provides adequate school paying fields, school garden, etc.".

Harrold County Secondary School

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. Harrold Senior Council School became Harrold Priory County Secondary Modern School in 1946.

Harrold Priory Middle School across the playground January 2008
Priory Middle School across the playground January 2008

Priory Middle 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. Harrold Priory County Secondary Modern School became Priory Middle School. In 2011 Priory Middle School closed on conversion to an academy. 

Harrold Primary Academy

Bedford Borough Council decided to change from a 3-tier to a 2-tier system of primary and secondary schools. In September 2017 Harrold Primary Academy opened to pupils aged 4 – 11 on the site of Harrold Lower School and Harrold Priory Middle School.