Headlines: March 14th, 2003

Schools of the future will provide community services tailored to meet local needs. Initially schools will be targeted in the most disadvantaged areas and then the initiative will be rolled out progressively nationwide. In addition, all local education authorities and schools will get planning support to provide extended services that meet local needs. The extended services will include childcare, health and social care, lifelong learning opportunities, family learning, parenting support, study support, sports and arts, and ICT access. At least one school in every local education authority will provide an extended service by 2006.Extended services will enable schools to focus on their core role of raising standards for pupils. They will help improve children’s motivation, behaviour and achievements by removing barriers to learning and helping teachers focus on their core job of teaching. Children’s learning will be supported by providing services such as speech therapy so that children do not miss half the school day travelling to an appointment. They will help parents balance work and family life by, for example, flexible school based childcare. Communities will benefit, for example, by local residents using schools resources and adult learning opportunities.

Funding will be provided to allow LEAs to appoint coordinators to draw up strategic plans for extended schools and local managers to work with clusters of schools to set up and manage the extended services.There will also be funding to help schools to provide childcare.