Editorial Content: Make all schools matter

It is good news that the government has finally bowed to pressure to place a duty on schools in its new Education Bill to promote children’s wellbeing as set out in Every Child Matters.

We report in this week’s magazine that many extended schools are already  playing their part in working towards delivering the green paper’s five outcomes.

But making it a statutory duty leaves no one in any doubt that schools have a much wider remit that just standards.

Education secretary Alan Johnson has hinted that the dedicated schools  grant – the main funding source for schools – could be used to fund new initiatives on promoting children’s wellbeing. The new duty should reinforce the message that agencies need to work together on this – a message that must be heeded by schools, by staff working in  children and families services and, most of all, by staff working for health agencies.

But why should academies and city technology colleges be exempt from the new strictures? If schools really are central to delivering wellbeing then that just does not make sense and we urge the government to reconsider.

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