Bedford Borough Council has recently changed to a predominantly 2 tier system of primary and secondary schools.
Children normally begin their primary education at a lower/primary school which serves the area where they live i.e. the school serving the local catchment area. Children are normally admitted to lower/primary school at the start of or during the Reception year, that is the school year in which they become 5. Many schools also have nursery units or nursery classes for younger children.
Most children will transfer at 11+ (end of year 6) to a secondary school. However, some children will transfer at 9+ (the end of Year 4) to a local middle school and then at 13+ (end of Year 8) to a local upper school. Most secondary/upper schools have a 6th form and pupils may remain at the school up to the age of 18 or 19 years.
Parents have a right to express a preference for a school which is not within the catchment area (if applicable), but places can only be offered if there is space available. If the number of requests for places at a school exceeds the number of places available, places will be allocated in accordance with the Admissions Criteria for that school.