Move to extend school hours welcomed
EDUCATION chiefs in Suffolk today welcomed government moves to extend school hours, despite a lukewarm reaction from the county's headteachers. Ministers announced this week proposals to open schools from 8am to 6pm, offering all year round childcare to help working parents.
EDUCATION chiefs in Suffolk today welcomed government moves to extend school hours, despite a lukewarm reaction from the county's headteachers.
Ministers announced this week proposals to open schools from 8am to 6pm, offering all year round childcare to help working parents.
Education secretary Ruth Kelly said schools will offer breakfast clubs as well as after school sporting, academic and other activities.
She said £5.6million has been allocated to Suffolk County Council over the next three years to set up the scheme.
A council spokesman said: "The council welcomes the government announcement of additional funding to support extended schools with childcare and out of school activities, which will benefit children and young people, as well as helping working parents."
However, as reported in The Evening Star this week, some headteachers have already raised concerns about the extra work for teachers and worries about the effects on family life, the extend hours might cause.
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Cllr Patricia O'Brien, who is responsible for children, schools and young people's services, said about 60 schools across Suffolk already offer breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday activities, with more hoping to do the same.
She added: "Schools in Suffolk have made a great start in developing extended services, working alongside other organisations in the local community, and we are very keen to build further on this work.
"We want children and young people to have access to a range of different activities outside of the standard school day, and are planning to introduce a Children's University to the county, which fits very well with the extended schools plan.
"Access to high quality services and learning opportunities with schools at the hub will help make sure that the whole community can benefit and that children and young people have the best possible start in life."
The council has already appointed 18 extended school development officers to support schools in developing and planning additional services, based on the needs of the school and the local community.
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