Merger of Bedford High School for Girls - DOC

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					                       Merger of Bedford High School for Girls
                           and Dame Alice Harpur School

                                    PRESS STATEMENT
                         Embargoed until 3pm - 13th November 2009

Since the decision to merge Bedford High School for Girls (BHSG) and Dame Alice Harpur School
(DAHS) in June the Trustees, Heads and their advisers have been working together to develop the
merger plans that will achieve their new vision¹ for the school.

Following a special Governing Body meeting last night, when key decisions about the future of the
new school were agreed, Trustees are now in a position to announce:

The location of the new School
Trustees have decided, following a comprehensive property and planning investigation into the
educational suitability, legal and financial implications of the site options for the new school, that it
will be located on the Cardington Road site. The detailed timings of when the two schools will fully
merge onto this site, or what will happen to the site at Bromham Road, have yet to be finalised.
Trustees hope to be in a position to announce details of the full transition plan, including when the
senior schools will merge, by the end of spring term 2010.

The new school name
The existing pupils, parents and staff were given the opportunity to vote on the name of the new
school from a shortlist of four names. Therefore, based upon the majority vote of the electorate,
the new school will be called Bedford Girls’ School.

Merging the Junior Schools
The two junior schools will merge onto the Cardington Road site in September 2010 and will
become known as Bedford Girls’ Junior School. This will allow the younger girls and their parents
time to settle into the school and staff to concentrate on a successful and smooth transition before
merging parts of the senior school.
Selecting the Head and the Head of the Junior School
The selection of the new Head and the Head of the junior school will be completed by the end of
December 2009. It is likely that the new school Head will be either Julie Eldridge (current Head at
BHSG) or Jo MacKenzie (Head Designate at DAHS). The appointment of the Head and the junior
school Head will help to facilitate the smooth running of the merger process.

The future of boarding
Following considerable debate on the future of boarding at the newly merged school Trustees have
decided that the new school will not continue to offer boarding. Pupils, parents and staff associated
with the current BHSG boarding facilities have been informed, and they will shortly receive more
details on how and when the boarding facilities will eventually close.

Merging the School Committees
The two existing school Committees who are responsible for governing the Schools will become
one committee by April 2010. This will ensure that the correct consideration is given to the
educational, financial, staffing, marketing and admissions issues that will arise during the merger
transition process.

Communicating with parents, staff and pupils
Trustees are acutely aware of the impact their decisions and this announcement will have on staff,
parents and pupils. They have therefore supported the Heads of both schools and their senior
leadership teams to announce the news to staff, parents and pupils today and will be offering
additional briefing sessions over the coming days and weeks to answer questions.

The structure of Bedford Girls’ School has yet to be decided and Trustees therefore cannot say
how many redundancies, compulsory or voluntary, there might be as a result of the merger.
However where redundancies become necessary, as a result of the new school structure,
decisions will be made fairly and objectively in line with the Charity’s Redundancy Policy.

Trustees will continue to work closely, and communicate regularly, with staff, parents, pupils and
others to ensure they are fully informed of the merger plans and how they may affect them and to
ensure they achieve the vision¹ for the new and outstanding girls’ school.

                                             --- Ends ---
Notes for Editors:

     1. The Vision for Bedford Girls’ School is to create opportunities, within and beyond the
        curriculum, to enable each girl to develop her potential to the full, creating confident,
        independent, versatile and successful adults, equipped with the skills and values to meet
        the challenges of a changing society and to provide the best possible educational
        foundation for life.

        Building on a legacy of distinction, it is our Mission that Bedford Girls’ School should serve
        as a model for effective teaching and learning in a dynamic and exciting educational
        environment where girls develop a love of learning and the skills they need for the future.
        Alongside the development of the intellect, we value creativity, the ability to communicate,
        team-work and leadership and the skills gained through participation in sports and the arts.
        These all enhance the qualities that make our girls successful and fulfilled individuals who
        are ready to take their place with confidence in the wider world.

     2. Copies of newsletters and Q&A documents that provide further details on the merger can
        be viewed on

For further information please contact:

Suzanne Sharp, Communication Manager
Tel:    01234 369535


David Russell, Chief Executive
Tel:    01234 369500

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