Schools, Colleges and Places of Education

Central Bedfordshire is the only Local Education Authority with an exclusively three-tier structure. The three tier structure consists of:

  • Lower School for Ages 5 to 9
  • Middle School for Ages 9 to 13
  • Upper School for Ages 13 to 18+

The Harpur Trust, an education charity, funding independent schooling in Bedford was established in 1566 using the legacy of Sir William Harpur. Bedford School (for boys) was established initally, followed by Bedford Modern School (for boys), Bedford High School (for girls) and The Bedford Girls Modern School, later renamed The Dame Alice Harpur School.
For over 400 years the charity has been “inspiring and supporting the people of Bedford to help them improve their lives, to have pride in their community and to realise their own potential”. More information can be found at
Recently, Bedford Modern School became co-educational and Bedford High School and The Dame Alice Harpur School were merged to form Bedford Girls’ School.

The 21st century saw the establishment of the De Montfort University in Bedford. Formerly Bedford PE College, and then expanding to other disciplines, the university has many campus sites across the town.

Harpur Trust Schools

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Other Independent Schools

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Lower Schools

Balliol Lower School

Bedford Road Lower School, Kempston

Brickhill Lower School, Brickhill, Bedford

Broadmead Lower School, Stewartby

Bromham V.C. Lower School

Bromham VC Lower School, Bromham

Camestone Lower School

Carlton VC Lower School, Carlton

Castle Lower School

Castle Lower School

Cauldwell School, Cauldwell

Cople Lower School, Cople

Cotton End Primary School, Cotton End

Edith Cavell Lower School, Harpur, Bedford

Eileen Wade Lower School, Upper Dean

Elstow School, Elstow

Goldington Green Lower School, Goldington, Bedford

Great Barford Lower School, Great Barford

Great Denham Primary School, Great Denham

Harrold Lower School, Harrold

Hazeldene Lower School, Putnoe, Bedford

John Gibbard Lower School, Sharnbrook

Kempston Rural Lower School, Kempston Rural

King’s Oak Primary School, Kingsbrook, Bedford

Kymbrook Lower School, Keysoe Row

Lakeview School, Wixams

Livingstone Lower School, Harpur, Bedford

Milton Ernest Lower School, Milton Ernest

Oakley Lower School, Oakley

Pinchmill Lower School, Felmersham

Priory Lower School, Castle, Bedford

Putnoe Primary School, Putnoe Bedford

Queens Park Academy, Queens Park, Bedford

Ravensden VA Lower School, Ravensden

Renhold VC Lower School, Renhold

Riseley VA Lower School, Riseley

Roxton VA Lower School, Roxton

Scott Lower School, Brickhill, Bedford

Shackleton Primary School, Cauldwell, Bedford

Shortstown Primary School, Shortstown

Springfield Lower School, Kempston

St James VA Lower School, Biddenham

St John Rigby RC Primary School, De Parys, Bedford

St Joseph’s RC Lower School, Queens Park, Bedford

St Lawrence VA Lower School, Wymington

The Hills Academy, Putnoe, Bedford

Thurleigh Lower School, Thurleigh

Turvey Lower School, Turvey

Ursula Taylor VC Lower School, Clapham

Wilden VA Lower School, Wilden

Willington Lower School, Willington

Wilstead Lower School, Wilstead

Wootton Lower School, Wootton

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Middle Schools

Beauchamp Middle School

Brickhill, Bedford

Daubeney Academy

Kempston, Bedford

Goldington Academy

De Parys, Bedford

Harrold Priory Middle School


Lincroft Middle School


Margaret Beaufort Middle School


Newnham Middle School

De Parys, Bedford

Robert Bruce Middle School


St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Middle School


Westfield Middle School

Queens Park, Bedford

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Upper Schools

Bedford Academy

Mile Road, Bedford MK42 9TR

Bedford Academy is a state funded independent school initially for students aged 13 to 18 but will become an 11-18 school within a few years.

Bedford Free School

Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AD

A Free School is an independent, state-funded school set up by members of the community who are determined to make a positive difference to the educational landscape.

Mark Rutherford School

Wentworth Drive, Bedford, MK41 8PX

Mark Rutherford School is an 11-19 school in the northern part of Bedford, with approximately 1250 students on roll.

Sharnbrook Upper School and Community College

Odell Road, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, MK44 1JL

Sharnbrook Upper School and Community College is a rural 13-19 comprehensive Foundation School that was opened in purpose-built facilities in September 1975

St Thomas More Catholic Upper School

Tyne Crescent, Bedford, MK41 7UL

Wootton Upper School

Hall End Road, Wootton, Bedford, MK43 9HT

Wootton Upper School and Arts College is an academy operated by
Wootton Academy Trust

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Colleges, Sixth Forms and Higher Education

The University of Bedfordshire

A public university in England with campuses in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England. The university was created in August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council by merging the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University.
At the University of Bedfordshire, whichever campus joined, it is an exceptional place to study.
From guest speaker events and masterclasses, to industry visits and internships, courses have a strong focus to enrich knowledge and skills set; providing a well-rounded and memorable experience that will last long after graduation day.

Bedford College

Bedford, Bedfordshire, England

Bedford College is a further education college located in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. It is the principal further education provider in the Borough of Bedford

Stella Mann College of Performing Arts

Stella Mann College of Performing Arts is an independent, co-educational performing arts school and college specialising in dance and musical theatre.

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Adult Education

Bedfordshire Adult Learning and Skills Service

Bedfordshire Adult Learning and Skills Service provides opportunities for adults to get involved in learning within their community, with a wide range of programmes on offer including maths, English, IT, employability training, sector specific training and Family Learning.
In particular, we aim to work with people who have not achieved a level 2 (or equivalent) qualification and/or are unemployed.
There are a wide range of opportunities available to progress onto higher level learning and / or work.

REC The Retirement Education Centre

6 Rothsay Gardens Bedford MK40 3QB

The Retirement Education Centre is a Registered Charity dedicated to providing educational, social and recreational opportunities for anyone 50 and over and not in full-time employment – offering weekend, summer and evening courses to anyone aged 18 or over.
The Centre offers a diverse range of courses and activities and an array of opportunities and social events to indulge in, such as organised visits to places of interest, theatre trips, an annual holiday and our Quiz night, and others to keep fit, such as Rambling.

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Special Schools