DfES defends ‘conflicting’ school policies

The Department for Education and Skills has denied that the
government’s extended schools agenda is on a collision course
with its drive to involve the private sector in the building and
running of schools.

Bill Jordan, head teacher at Dyke House School in Hartlepool, a
self-styled extended school, told a London conference last week
that policies on extended schools and Building Schools for the
Future “could be competing against each other”.

“Building Schools for the Future encourages PFI, which
means the building might not be yours after 4pm,” Jordan
said. “That means you will have to hire it back after 4pm to
run extended schools.”

However, the DfES insisted that head teachers would always have
first refusal over the use of school buildings outside school
hours, and that the cost of this “should be covered by the
initial contract”.

The Building Schools for the Future initiative is a new approach
to investing in school buildings through partnerships between Local
Education Authorities and private sector partners. The government
has pledged that, under the scheme, every child will be taught in a
21st Century environment within 15 years.

The government also wants all schools to have the opportunity to
become an extended school, offering a range of services and
activities often beyond the school day to help meet the needs of
its pupils, their families and the wider community. The Department
is already supporting the development of 240 full service extended
schools by 2006, and all schools will either offer a minimum range
of additional services or be part of a network of provision by

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