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Extracurricular Activities

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to increase participation in after-school activities on the part of school pupils since 1997. (204549)

The Government are committed to making out of school activities available to all children, and has put in place a large range of action to support this as part of the extended schools programme.

Our commitment is that by 2010 all schools will be providing access to a core range of extended services, including a varied menu of activities from 8am to 6pm. We are making very good progress, with more than 10,500 schools now providing the full core offer, and many more already providing the varied menu of activities aspect of the core offer.

A total of £840 million of Government funding was made available to local authorities and schools up to 2008 to support them in developing extended services, with some funding also available to promote and encourage effective programmes of study support available as part of the school development grant. A further £1.3 billion has been announced and will be available over the next three years to support the start-up and sustainability of services. Also as part of this, specific funding will be made available to support access to activities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Training and Development Agency support schools and local authorities to develop extended services, together with other partner organisations from the private and voluntary sectors. Guidance on extended schools and study support has provided practical advice for schools and their partners on setting up activities, developing and funding them, and has highlighted the significant benefits of doing so.