Margaret Beaufort School Riseley
Margaret Beaufort Middle School April 2015
Margaret Beaufort was created as a county secondary modern school, teaching a more practically based curriculum than a grammar school which taught a more academic curriculum. It took pupils from age twelve upwards. The first entry in the logbook of the new school, for 10th September 1962, reads: "On the opening day twenty children arrived unexpectedly bringing the total attendance to 192 boys and girls" [SDRiseleyMargaretBeaufort1/1]. The headteacher went on: "As a temporary measure the school is divided into eight groups, one of which is dispersed with other groups. Although there is a good supply of stationery no text books have yet arrived. There are no specialist rooms available for use. Most parts of the school have their quota of builders still working there".
The following entry, for 11th-14th September, reads, in part: "During this period the Staff nobly improvised "text books" and lessons of all kinds. To add to the disorganisation the School Nurse visited the school on September 11th and excluded four pupils". The following week the head wrote: "Improvisation was still the order of the day. First deliveries of new text books were made on the 20th and these were made about four thirty pm … As it was hoped to have eight forms, that is to avoid "mixed age" classes and as there were only seven rooms still available classes were arranged on a day-to-day basis with one member of staff coping with two or more forms at various times. Attempts to obtain additional staff proved fruitless and the possibility of eight forms seemed far away and unattainable. The County Supplies Officer visited the school to discuss various requisition and loan items. He inspected certain furniture and decided that it was too small to be of permanent use in the 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. Margaret Beaufort thus became a middle school, which it remains at the time of writing  as part of the Sharnbrook Academy Federation.