Why are the reasons for the changes proposed at Cauldwell, Shackleton, and Shortstown primary schools?

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Plans to make radical changes to four of Bedford’s primary schools have been branded a “betrayal” by parents – but what exactly is being proposed?

In this news feature we give the full story on the plans to impose changes across the HEART Academies Trust.

> Could the current staff apply for the new roles?

In theory? Yes. In practice? No.

Despite all three schools being primary (teaching students up to age 11) the job description for the new ‘executive headteacher’ has secondary school experience as a requirement.

This rules out all three of the current headteachers.

The current deputy and assistant headteachers could apply for the new ‘head of school’ roles.

However, they are all thought to be extremely reluctant to do so, seeing the roles as unworkable.

> What has been the council reaction?

Mayor Dave Hodgson has described the proposed change as “extraordinary” – but as the schools are part of a trust he has little influence.

He told the T&C: “The loss of local governing bodies will damage the current effective links between the community and school leaders. The loss of local headteachers with over 40 years’ experience will be devastating for the education of children and families in some of the most deprived wards of Bedford Borough.”

> What has been the reaction of the Harpur Trust?

The Harpur Trust sponsors HEART but say they are there to “offer support and guidance”, rather than “dictate” how the trust or individual schools are run.

Read more:

The full story

What is being proposed?

What are the reasons for the proposals?

Details of the changes

What comes next?

Is money behind the proposals?