Extended services in and through schools, often called Extended Schools, is a key vehicle for lifting children and young people out of poverty and improving outcomes for them and their families.
There is now clear evidence that children's experiences greatly influence their outcomes and life chances in later life.
A key priority, and challenge, for schools is to reach the most disadvantaged families within a framework of providing mainstream services for all families.
An extended school works with the local authority and other partners to offer access to a range of services and activities which support and motivate children and young people to achieve their full potential. These services and activities are:
High quality childcare (primary schools only)
The school provides access to childcare, 8am - 6pm, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year, in accordance with its community's need.
Childcare does not need to be provided directly by the school and can be delivered by existing or new voluntary, community or private sector providers in the local area.
Provision does not need to be on site and can be in the local area with appropriate safe transport in place.
A varied menu of study support and recreational activities
Activities do not need to be provided directly by the school. There are significant benefits of working with existing or new voluntary, community or private sector providers in the local area or the local authority to provide these services.
Activities do not need to be on site and can be in the local area with appropriate transport. In addition secondary schools should be available as, or provide access to, a safe place to be for young people before and after school hours.
Support for parents and carers
This should include:
- Information sessions for fathers and mothers of pupils joining reception and on transfer to secondary school
- Information about nationally and locally available sources of information, advice and support
- Access to parenting programmes as well as more informal opportunities for parents to engage with the school and each other; and
- Family learning sessions to allow children to learn with their fathers and mothers where there is a demand shown through consultation
35 schools and the Tuition Centre currently have a Parent Support Adviser who is responsible for support for parents and carers.
Swift and easy access to targeted and specialist services
Schools, working closely with other services including the voluntary and community sector, should have a focus on early identification of children and young people with additional needs be they behavioural, emotional, health or other difficulties.
Once identified, support and intervention can be provided swiftly and easily by speech and language therapists, behavioural support, educational psychologists, youth workers and others.
Wider community access to school facilities
Where a school has facilities suitable for use by the wider community, it should look to open these up, where possible, to meet wider community needs.
The school should take a role in supporting the development of youth provision in the community by opening up its facilities to youth organisations or services as appropriate. The school should also offer access to adult learning programmes.
Local authorities have a key role to play in supporting schools in delivering integrated support through extended services and Barking and Dagenham is leading and coordinating a range of initiatives which have a focus on improving outcomes, particularly for the most disadvantaged.
Extended Schools: Extra support for you and your children
This leaflet provides examples of what services some schools offer and how schools can make sure they are providing services that benefit the local community.