By David Bradley, Child Poverty Action Group
Schools have a unique place within their communities. With an extended school day, schools can and do support children’s development and learning, support mental health and wellbeing, mitigate the effects of child poverty, and help prevent poverty by supporting parents to work. These activities have always been a valuable part of school life, but there is an even greater need now to support schools to deliver these services as the pandemic continues to affect the learning of children and the financial circumstances of families. Crucially, the government must provide schools with dedicated funding and a clear long-term vision for delivering these services. Read our briefing on extended schools provision.
CPAG is calling on the government to:
- Provide a statutory framework and strategy with adequate additional, ring-fenced funding so schools in England can provide programmes, activities and services that go beyond the core function of classroom education.
- Ensure every school has the funding and resources to provide comprehensive before- and after-school care, and holiday provision which is suitable for its pupils and families.
- Ensure every school can provide additional services that support families in their community with their wider needs eg, dedicated mental health and wellbeing practitioners, and welfare rights advisers.
CPAG estimates that it would cost the government £2.6 billion a year to fund every primary school, and £525 million a year to fund every secondary school in England to deliver core extended schools activities, and an additional £500 million to provide mental health practitioners and family support workers. We estimate that it would cost £10 million a year to fund an extended schools coordinator in each local authority across England.
Find out more about the Child Poverty Action Group and this campaign here