Schools to play new role in social care provision

Every local authority will have at least one extended school by
2006 providing child care, health and social care, lifelong
learning opportunities, parenting support, and access to computers
and the internet.

The government is to spend £52.2m over three years
developing the new school-based services for families in 240
schools. The most disadvantaged areas will be the first to be
targeted but the programme will be rolled out progressively to all
areas, according to the Department for Education and Skills.

The Education Act 2002 introduced changes which will enable
schools to directly provide community services such as health and
social care as well as child care.

All other primary schools are now being encouraged to consider
setting up child care facilities, both for pre-school children and
for school-aged children to use before and after the school

Baroness Cathy Ashton, minister for Sure Start, announced the
programme at a Kids’ Clubs Network conference, although the
funding had already been announced by chancellor Gordon Brown in
the 2002 Spending Review.

Baroness Ashton told the conference: “Schools providing extended
services such as child care, healthcare and family learning are a
practical resource for children, parents and the community. By
supporting pupils, parents and communities extended services help
schools focus on raising standards.”

Guidance on extended schools and on setting up child care in
schools can be found on the DfES schools website: www.teachernet. Hard copies are available by calling 0845
6022260, quoting reference EXSG.

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