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Extended Schools: Finance

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department has issued to local education authorities on the distribution of extended schools funding in respect of children (a) with special needs and (b) entitled to free school meals. (286237)

The Government are committed to every school providing access to a core offer of extended services and has provided significant funding to support the delivery of extended services, including committing over £1 billion in the period 2008-09 to 2010-11. Funding is allocated to local authorities. DCSF guidance states that local authorities should work closely with their schools and other children’s service partners through the children’s trust to develop and agree strategic plans for using the extended services funding. Local authorities are strongly encouraged to devolve as much of their extended schools funding to schools as possible. In determining allocations, local authorities are encouraged to consider the needs and context of schools and their population, including levels of deprivation, of which free school meals is one of the indicators. DCSF guidance also states that extended activities and services will be of particular benefit to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs.

As part of this funding, there is over £200 million of extended services subsidy. This is focused on supporting the access to extra-curricular activities by disadvantaged children, including children eligible for free school meals. The DCSF has issued the message to local authorities that all subsidy funding is to be passed to schools to help increase the level of participation for those children. The DCSF has, working with the Council for Disabled Children, issued guidance: “Extending Inclusion—Access for disabled children and young people to extended schools and children’s centres: a development manual”, emphasising the importance of making extended services accessible to all children. This is available from