Out of school activities key to tackling child inequality

Children from poor backgrounds can be helped by additional
out-of-school learning, according to the Scottish executive and a
leading children’s campaigning organisation.

Activities such as homework and study clubs, outdoor activities
and arts projects are being targeted at 3,000 schools across
Scotland in a £50 million initiative over three years funded
by the executive and the New Opportunities Fund. Speaking at a
national conference on out-of-school learning in North Lanarkshire,
Jack McConnell, education minister, said: “Those with difficulties
in concentrating and progressing in class have benefited
considerably from their participation.”

North Lanarkshire was one of the first councils to participate
in the scheme, introducing Easter schools for pupils as well as
literacy classes for those about to move to secondary school.

Douglas Hamilton, Children in Scotland’s policy officer,
said: “Out of school learning opportunities such as homework or
study groups can attract otherwise disengaged young people to
learning and help them develop to their full potential.”


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