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Bedford is one of the few remaining authorities which operates a three-tier model across almost all of its schools, giving it 12 Middle Schools, all of which provide for the 9-13 age range. The council was formed in April 2009 as a Unitary Authority replacing Bedfordshire County Council as the local authority. In its first term, it made the decision to close all middle schools, but the scheme was abandoned following the change of government in 2010. One middle school closed in 2011, with one primary and one secondary school open in the borough. Two further middle schools closed in 2014.

In July 2015, the borough announced its intention to support schools in a borough-wide move to two-tier provision. As a result, all of the middle schools have plans to reorganise as primary or secondary, with the exception of Alban CE Academy, which will become a 9-16 school, and Marston Vale Middle.