Extended school funding sought

Children’s trusts will be asked to help fund co-ordinator posts to
run extended hours and services in schools, the children’s minister
Margaret Hodge said last week.

In last week’s budget, £9.4bn was announced to rebuild or
refurbish at least half of Britain’s primary schools, with the aim
of extending opening hours and hosting extra services such as
health, social work, child care, parenting support and adult

But at a conference organised by the education charity ContinYou,
head teachers voiced concerns that funding to pay for co-ordinators
would not be sustained.

Although Hodge confirmed start-up funds until at least 2008, she
said that beyond that schools would have to look to their partners,
including the NHS, children’s trusts and Learning and Skills
Councils, to sustain co-ordinators’ pay. Parents were another
source of funding, perhaps using tax credits to pay for child care,
she suggested.

“We have just got to be creative. The mistake we would make is to
think that this will be entirely funded by government,” she added.

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