Collaboration is key to schools’ success

Extended schools offering a wider range of services and facilities
will only succeed if local authorities, teachers and school
governors collaborate together, new children and families minister
Lord Geoffrey Filkin told a conference last week.

Filkin said the central role of schools in the community meant they
were an obvious point around which to link up services through
improved interagency working.

He added that teachers would benefit by having professionals around
to deal with the social problems facing them.

Filkin said: “The experience of many teachers is that they are
frequently pushed into the role of a quasi-social worker.

“Having an accessible specialist health and social care workforce
there means help is immediately available.”

But he made it clear there would be no compulsion about the
extension of the school day.

He said: “8am to 6pm is an offer, not an obligation. It is not
saying the child [or teacher] has to be thereÉ from 8am to

Filkin said a full range of extended services, including health and
social services as well as community and other facilities, would
probably best be provided by schools linking together, rather than
each school being expected to provide them.

He said: “We are looking, as a model, to have a single school or a
cluster of schools having those additional facilities.”

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