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At Bedford Academy we recognise and value the importance of working in partnership with parents. We listen to parents/carers and work together with them to ensure their children get the best out of their time here. All parents are able to contact key staff at the Academy by email, phone or in person and are welcomed to attend a number of events, including target setting and review days, parents’ evenings and information evenings during the school year.
During the academy day, parents/carers are encouraged to contact their child’s form tutor or Learning Village Leader if they have an urgent query. In addition to the support provided to all parents/carers, parents/carers of SEND students with more serious or complicated SEND needs will have an identified ‘key person’ at the academy, who will be their main point of contact and will also meet with them at least once every term to review their child’s progress and agree targets and strategies to ensure good progress. Parents/Carers are invited to attend the Access Coffee mornings/evenings throughout the year to give feedback and share ideas on the SEN support provided by the Academy. Refreshments will be provided.
01234 301500 extension 809
Provides welfare benefits advice for people referred through Social Services.
Public Libraries provide access to reading, learning, culture, information and IT, and help to bridge social and digital divides. They support well-being, encourage reading and learning, and help to foster identity, community and a sense of place for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.
The Borough's library service is provided through five Libraries (Bedford, Putnoe, Kempston, Bromham and Wootton), the Mobile Library, the Library Link service for those who cannot visit the library themselves, Kempston Homework Centre, the Virtual Library, and a range of community outreach and library based activities, as well as the Schools Library Service and Bookstart Service.
The service fulfils its role by providing libraries where people can read and borrow books and other stock, use a library computer or wifi, discover information, get help from knowledgeable staff, and make use of the safe, welcoming, community space which libraries provide; as well as providing a service via the virtual library with online access to library services, information, e-resources and other content, including areas especially for children and young adults.
Libraries also provide a range of events and activities for children and young people including Rhymetimes, Family Fun and Holiday Story and Craft activities, and the Summer Reading Challenge.
Early Childhood Partnership Bedford offers a full range of FREE services to expectant parents/carers and families with children up to the age of 5.
Bedford College offer programmes of education for young people and adult working from pre-entry to Higher Education in a wide range of academic and vocational areas. The college successfully support young people and adults to progress into Higher Education and work. The college also provide specialist provision for young people within discrete groups, should you be interested in this offer please refer to our section on Supported Learning Courses.
The college offer a range of support for those young people with an identified Learning Difficulty and/or Disability according to individual need. Typical services provided can include:
• 1-1 or small group support outside of the main class where students may develop study skills, English and/or maths to support them to achieve their main qualification.
• Teaching Assistant support within both structured and un-structured times if appropriate.
• Learning Support Assistants to support with physical and personal care needs if required.
• Specialist exam arrangements
Alongside these services we have specialist Autism, Deaf and Dyslexia Co-ordinators.
The Autism Co-ordinator provides specialist support to both students and staff to promote effective support and student achievement to those on the spectrum, this can include mentoring support, staff development and assessment. The Co-ordinator is supported by an Assistant and together they provide daily drop in sessions for students at both our Cauldwell Street and Shuttleworth campuses.
At our Cauldwell Street site we have a dedicated base room called ‘The Haven’ which students can access throughout the day. The specialist team also work with students to plan social activities which have included bowling, ice skating at Christmas, meals out and an arts evening with pizza!
The Deaf Co-ordinator is herself Hard of Hearing and her preferred method of communication is British Sign Language, this provides her with a unique insight that she is able to utilise to meet the needs of students both in terms of mentoring and pairing to a communicator. The Deaf Co-ordinator delivers training to staff in develop their awareness and BSL communication skills. The Deaf Co-ordinator is supported by a team of experienced communicators.
The team also have two Dyslexia Co-ordinators who provide staff awareness training, specialist teaching and exam arrangements.
The focus of the college support team is very much upon supporting students to become as independent as they possibly can within their learning to support their longer term aspirations.
The service aims to support young people into adulthood through a specialist curriculum within a mainstream setting. Students undertaking courses within the Foundation area have the opportunity to develop their independent living skills within our specialist flat; access the community via our excellent location within Bedford town centre; continue to develop their numeracy and literacy skills across the curriculum. Full time programmes consist of opportunities for students to:
• Develop their work skills by undertaking a weekly supported work placement and dedicated session to support their understanding of the world of work.
• The opportunity to undertake one or more option/s which meet their personal interest and/or career aspirations. These are delivered within specialist facilities by vocational staff with experience of working with young people with additional needs.
• All students will have a dedicated Personal Tutor who works with the student and liaises with parents/carers and other agencies to promote achievement and well-being.
The days and times of our services are unfortunately limited by government funding. Full time programmes for young people aged 16-18 are delivered over 4 days for 32 weeks of the year. Full time programmes for young people aged 19+ over 5 days per week between 10.30-3.00. Students access supported for full time programmes for up to 3 years.
Progression routes for young people from our supported courses are varied with students progressing onto level one or two courses cross college, gaining employment to undertaking a varied programme supported through social care which may include one day a week at college and continuation of their work placement. Student’s progress is regularly reviewed and discussed with the student, parent/carers and relevant agencies to support young people to support transition into adulthood.
‘We believe that, given the right circumstances, all children are capable of extraordinary things’
At Bedford Free School, we believe that every student is a unique individual who possesses talents and gifts that can be developed within the right learning environment.
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