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About Bedford College
Bedford College is a further education college located in Bedford, Bedfordshire. It is the principal further education provider in the Borough of Bedford, and it is a member of the 157 Group of high performing schools.
Further Education courses have been provided on Bedford College's Cauldwell Street campus under some name since World War II, although its roots can be traced to the founding of Bedford Training College for Teachers in 1882. Following construction of the college's six-storey tower block, opened on 19 June 1959, the College became known as Mander College of Further Education. The college was named after Sir Frederick Mander, who was Chairman of Bedfordshire County Council at the time of the tower's construction.
In 1976 the college combined with two teacher training institutions to form the split-site Bedford College of Higher Education. The college remained in this form until 1992, when Further Education colleges achieved independent status from Local Education Authorities. Bedford College was formed as a Further Education Institute to concentrate on provision within this sector, remaining at the Cauldwell Street campus. The Higher Education areas of the college separated in 1994 to become the Bedford campus of the De Montfort University, but later merged with the University of Luton to form the University of Bedfordshire.
Bedford College retains some Higher Education provision, and provides a number of foundation degrees and select teaching qualifications in association with the University of Bedfordshire.
In July 2009, the college was formally awarded Beacon Status by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The status means that Bedford College has been recognised as one of the best further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
In August 2009, it was announced that Shuttleworth College had become part of Bedford College. Shuttleworth College had previously been part of Writtle College.
In January 2008 it was announced that Bedford College (with the Harpur Trust) intended to sponsor John Bunyan Upper School (a state comprehensive school in Bedford) thereby turning the school into an academy. This was confirmed by Bedfordshire County Council the following June.
Bedford Academy opened in September 2010.
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