Primary schools should provide access to high-quality childcare, 8am–6pm, five days a week, 48 weeks a year. In parallel with the childcare offer, primary schools should offer access to a varied menu of study support activities, including:
Childcare and activities do not need to be offered on the school site, especially where schools are working with partners to deliver them. However, where childcare and activities are offsite, safe transport arrangements should be in place if there is sufficient demand.
Providing parenting support is another way that schools can help to remove barriers to learning in pupils and benefit the wider community. Many parents say there are times in their lives when they would like more information, advice and support. Research shows that pupils’ attainment, attitudes, and behaviour are improved in schools that work effectively with parents. Increased parental participation in school life is another benefit which, in turn, is a significant driver in improved outcomes for pupils.
To meet the parenting support element of the core offer, schools should provide:
Many schools have facilities suitable for use by the wider community and which, if made available, could benefit local people and community organisations. Schools should carry out an assessment to see which facilities could be made available to the community.
Where there is demand, schools should open up suitable facilities to community users. Arts facilities, sports halls and playing fields, ICT suites and school halls are the type of facility that communities could access outside of school hours, and even during the school day, if practical.
Schools should also take a role in supporting the development of the youth offer in the community by opening up facilities to youth organisations and other services as appropriate along with offering access to adult learning programmes, such as skills for life.
Schools, working closely with other statutory services and the other voluntary and community sector, should have a focus on early identification of, and support for, children and young people who have additional needs or are at risk of poor outcomes.
Schools should ensure that their current arrangements are effective in identifying children or young people in need of support in a non-stigmatising way and review them annually to assess impact.