Leighton’s oldest school is set to boost its intake by a third thanks to a 300-year-old legacy from its founder.
Plans by the governors of Pulford Church of England VA Lower won the support of Central Beds Council’s executive on Tuesday last week. The decision came after extensive consultation by the school with parents and the wider community showed solid support for the idea.
Cash to pay for the new facilities at the Pulford Road site will come from a trust set up by former town vicar Rev Joshua Pulford on his death in 1710.
Department for Education (DfE) approval has now been sought for permission to use a small section of the school’s playing fields to build the new classroom block.
If approval is provided by the DfE, building work, funded by the school, will start next month. The work is expected to be finished in time for the start of the new school year in September. It will mean its capacity will expand from its current capacity of 150 to provide a total of 225 places.
Councillor Mark Versallion, CBC spokesman for children’s services, said: “This is excellent news. The school has demonstrated that there is parental demand to provide additional faith based provision for families in the area that it has been unable to fulfil in the past.
“I am confident that the school will build on its success in supporting local children to reach their potential.”
Headteacher, David Heather, added: “Pulford School has been significantly over-subscribed for a number of years.
“To be able to increase the number of Church School places in line with parental choice is fantastic.
“The school is proud of its historic links with All Saints Church which date back to the late 1600s.
“Indeed, it is through the legacy of our founder that the money to proceed with this project has been realised.”