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Vandyke Upper School Leighton Buzzard

 Vandyke Upper School during construction in 1975
Vandyke Upper School during construction in 1975 [PY/PH58/21]

In 1968 the Secretary of State approved a comprehensive reorganisation of schools by the Local Education Authority, Bedfordshire County Council. This did away with selection at age eleven, in which the 25% with the highest marks in the Eleven Plus examination went on to a grammar school, in the case of Leighton Buzzard, The Cedars, to be taught an academic curriculum designed to facilitate their entry into university. The remaining children attended a Secondary Modern School to be taught a more skills based curriculum to fit them for work. Under the comprehensive system all pupils attend similar schools, teaching the same curriculum, based solely on age. Children aged 5 to 9 attend lower schools, those aged 9 to 13 a middle school and those aged 13 to 18 attend an upper school. The council affirmed its support for the scheme in 1969 and again in 1970 and in 1974 the reorganisation reached the Leighton Buzzard area. The Cedars became an Upper School at new premises in Linslade but it was clear that another 1,100 place upper school was needed in the town.

Leighton Buzzard Number 2 Upper School was built adjacent to Gilbert Inglefield School, which became a middle school, in Vandyke Road in the early 1970s. The school took it first pupils, aged 13 and 14 in 1976 and by 1980 had the full spread to 13 to 18 year olds

On 1st April 2009 Bedfordshire was abolished. The new Local Education Authority for Leighton Buzzard and area is Central Bedfordshire Council, a unitary council discharging both county and district functions.

 Vandyke Upper School June 2008
Vandyke Upper School June 2008


Note that some sources may not be available in order to protect personal details

  • CA2/415: building file: 1953-1981;
  • CA2/61: building contract: 1962-1963;
  • PY/PH58/1-23: exterior and interior photographs of Gilbert Inglefield and Vandyke: 1966-1972;
  • CA8/326: building maintenance file: 1968-1970;
  • CA2/698: Phase I building file: 1970-1981;
  • CA2/680: acquisition of land: 1971-1975;
  • CA2/685: building file on proposed upper school: 1972-1973;
  • CA2/768: building file for nursery unit: 1975-1979;
  • E/OL1/1/4: report of headteacher's link visit to Cyprus: 1979;
  • E/PS1/1/3: letter from headmaster refusing to co-operate with government assisted places scheme to allow LEA pupils wishing to attend independent schools: 1979-1985;
  • E/CU3/9/2: correspondence file regarding RE: 1979-1989;
  • E/OL1/6/1: participation in foreign schools exchange: 1979-1981;
  • E/TE3/1: return of teaching staff: 1980;
  • E/OL1/1/3: visit by pupils to Cyprus: 1980;
  • E/SC3/Gen24: proposal that school no longer accept children from Fulbrook Middle School, Aspley Guise: 1980-1981;
  • CA10/51: valve zoning: 1981;
  • CA8/937: building maintenance file: 1981-1984;
  • E/OL1/1/6: headteacher's opinion on value of exchange visits to Cyprus: 1983;
  • E/TE3/6: return to teaching staff: 1986;
  • CC/HS3/3/1: safety survey of Technology Department: 1986;
  • E/SC3/LB-Gen3: presentation by school on redrawing of catchment areas: 1986;
  • E/SC3/2/6: kitchen and other details: c.1987;
  • E/TE2/2/U10: details of school: 1987;
  • CC/HS3/4/1: power supply to theatre lighting: 1987-1988;
  • E/ME6/3/1: school report on multicultural education: 1987-1988;
  • E/ME6/3/1: notes on pilot project on multicultural education needs: 1987-1988;
  • E/ME6/3/2: school report on multicultural education: 1989;
  • E/Pu4/5/2/1: school prospectus: 1991