Headlines: April 24th, 2006

The Government wants to encourage schools and education authorities to make premises available at little or no cost to supplementary schools, which it believes may have an important role in extending school hours. Supplementary schools, work with pupils outside normal classes and deal a range of work, including teaching languages and cultural heritage as well as providing inspirational role models to pupils.The Schools Minister, Andrew Adonis, has pledged Government support for the development of more and better supplementary schools, especially through the extended school and specialist school programmes.

“Supplementary schools play a hugely important role in developing the education of children from widely diverse backgrounds. Generations of young people have benefited from the selfless dedication of those who have given up time and energy to set up and run these schools,” he said at a reception for overseas Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives from a number of supplementary schools.

A survey had found that eight out of ten young people who attended the more than 5,000 supplementary schools that operate around the country reported that this had helped with their mainstream school work. Lord Adonis said the supplementary school activities could bring a tremendous sense of achievement and increase confidence and motivation in and out of school.”

He said the Government wanted all schools to work with other children’s services and the private and voluntary sectors to offer a range of extended school services covering the hours of 8am to 6pm. Supplementary schools, he said, could play a role in these extended schools, and the Government would encourage premises to be made available to them at no or low cost.

Supplementary schools, the Minister added, could also be developed by specialist schools with funding they get for the development of their specialist activities, particularly in the case of language schools.