Unfinished business: where next for extended schools?
Schools which deliver a range of services beyond their core function of classroom education are known as ‘extended schools’, offering anything from childcare outside basic school hours, to sports and arts activities and adult learning sessions. Evidence shows that wraparound childcare can help parents stay in work, while sports and arts activities can improve children’s ‘soft’ skills and motivation to learn, leading to better educational and employment outcomes. Alice Woudhuysen looks at a new report from CPAG and the Family and Childcare Trust, which takes stock of the extent and success of extended schools by mapping the current provision in England and comparing it with parental demand for services. The report also considers the role these services have in tackling disadvantage and poverty, and sets out a new vision for extended schools.