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Extended Schools

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what funding he plans to make available to support extended schools in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; what estimate he has made of the number of (i) primary and (ii) secondary extended schools which charge parents who wish their children to attend activities outside regular school hours; and if he will make a statement; (187191)

(2) what the average weekly cost is of extended school provision in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools, which is payable by parents, in each local authority.

[holding answer 19 February 2008]: In 2008-09 to 2010-11 a total of £1.3 billion of funding will be made available to support the development of extended schools. This is set out in the table:.

£ million

Extended schools totalfunding 2008-11

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

TotalCSR period

Start Up

165

172

71

408

Sustainability

40

100

155

295

Extended schools subsidy scheme

8.5

40

217

265.5

Academic-focused study support

0

84

83

167

Total extended schools revenue

213.5

396

526

1,135.5

Total extended schools capital

84

89

46

219

Total extended schools revenue and capital

297.5

485

572

1,354.5

The Department has announced the individual local authority allocations for the next three years for the start up, sustainability and capital funding streams outlined in the table.

Information is not collected centrally on the number of schools which charge parents for their children to attend extended activities, and what the levels of charges are. Schools have different systems and variable rates around charging parents for services and activities. A cost benefit analysis carried out as part of the evaluation of full service extended schools, published in June last year, showed that there is some variability in the method of charging. It showed that with the exception of child care where schools made charges to cover costs, levels of charging tend to be ad hoc and small scale.

The Government have issued guidance to schools on charging through the “Planning and Funding Guidance: a guide for schools, local authorities and their partner organisations.” This explains the law on charging and makes clear that school governing bodies must devise and publish a charging and fee remission policy in consultation with parents. It also explains how charging enables schools to enhance the quality and frequency of the extended opportunities they offer and to make these more sustainable and so more reliable for families in the long term.

Parents on lower incomes may be eligible for help with meeting the cost of child care, through the child care element of the working tax credit. We are also making £265.5 million of funding available, as part of the £1.3 billion total extended schools funding, to ensure that children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to access high quality extended activities and are not prevented from doing so on grounds of cost.