ARCHIVE: Extended schools and digital technology
Currently over 20,000 (95%) of schools are providing access to a ‘core offer’ of extended services. These services include a varied range of activities in out of school hours, including study support, sport and music clubs, childcare in primary schools, parenting and family support, swift and easy access to specialist health and social care services, and community access to facilities including adult and family learning, ICT and sports grounds.
The provision of extended services is based on consultation and demand from families and the local community. Schools can work in clusters to deliver access to extended services. This may include signposting to a third party provider (e.g. private, voluntary, independent) or another school as part of cluster arrangements. By the end of 2010, all schools will be offering access to the core offer of extended services.
Significant additional funding has been made available to support LAs and schools in setting up and embedding services and the Government has given them greater flexibility in how this funding is used, for example, through clustering in rural areas.
In allocating funding for extended services, DCSF has taken account of the possible additional cost of providing extended services in rural settings, by applying the standard indicator of sparsity used in school funding allocations. This will help LAs and schools address issues such as before/after school transport. DCSF has also worked with the Training and Development Agency (TDA) to produce a toolkit identifying and sharing case study examples from local authorities who have notable successes. This is available on the TDA website to assist LAs in rolling out extended services in their rural areas.
The Government has invested £5 billion in technology in schools since 1997. This has helped to ensure that all schools in England, both urban and rural, have good access to broadband, in order to ensure that students at both primary and secondary level are fully connected to the learning potential of the internet. These facilities are available to students after school hours, as part of the Extended Schools initiative, and are increasingly being made available to the wider community.
Ashover Primary School, Derbyshire. 2009 ICT Excellence Awards Best Whole School Joint- Winner – East Midlands
Ashover Primary School is a single-form entry school is in rural Derbyshire and draws from a wide catchment area, using ICT to great effect to support this context. Engagement with parents is well developed using a variety of communication channels including the school's website, learning platform and SMS messaging. Crucially, the school has prioritised building these relationships so that parents now fully share the vision to use ICT to enhance learning and teaching.
The school, which was graded as outstanding by Ofsted in 2007, bases its success on a highly effective model of distributed leadership. All staff are committed to ICT development and share their practice and acquired knowledge of individual technologies extensively through an exemplary professional development model. The outcome is a successful combination of innovative and embedded use of ICT across the school, always with a clear educational purpose. Some of the innovations observed included the use of podcasting, multimedia and video, and an established school radio station.
Page last modified: 19 March 2010
Page published: 12 March 2010