Government sets out plans for extended schools

All schools will be expected to provide access to parenting
support and a wide range of specialist support services by

The eagerly anticipated prospectus on the “core offer of
extended services” for schools published earlier this week
also confirms plans for all schools to offer access to high quality
wraparound child care from 8am to 6pm all year round, adult
learning opportunities, and a range of extra activities such as
homework clubs, sport and music.

The changes will be backed between 2006 and 2008 with
£680m, of which £430 will be distributed via local
authorities and £250m will go directly to schools.

However, this funding will not be spread evenly. The prospectus
explains: “The level of resources needed will vary between
schools according to the services already in place, levels of
deprivation, whether schools are directly delivering services or
working with a third party, and whether the approach to delivery is
across a cluster [of schools].”

Insisting there is “no blueprint” for extended
schools, the prospectus suggests many schools will develop the core
offer by working in partnership with existing local private or
voluntary sector providers, or by building on existing links with
other local schools.

The government would also like to see strong links developing
between extended schools and the emerging children’s centres,
which provide holistic services for children under five and their
families. Co-locating the two would mean all services for children
aged between 0 and 11 and their families could be provided in one

Although the government has insisted that teachers will not be
expected to deliver extended services or extend their working day,
the prospectus suggests that support staff might want to be
considered for the extra work and its related career

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