Extended Schools: Benefits, Barriers and Outcomes
Dr Lizz Todd.
Community schooling in some guise or another is well established in many countries and is now being developed nationally in England and Scotland. Research has suggested a range of benefits to children and communities through the extension of schools beyond the usual boundaries. However, the variety of terms applied – community, full-service and extended school - belies a confusing number of different models. Research has either looked at particular models or at particular extended activities (such as parental involvement) that are differentially regarded as aspects of the models.
As a means to bring order to the field this paper focuses on the aims, actions and needs of 25 very different local education authorities in England as they engaged in the development of extended schools. More than 170 schools were involved in this project, with twice as many primary as secondary schools involved. To the extent that any school is seen as a community school – this paper considers the meaning of the notion of extended schooling. This paper also considers what were the barriers to the development of extended schools – and what were some of the ways schools and LEAs overcame those barriers? Given the already diverse range of models, titles and definitions of community schools – was there a way to conceptualise the actions of the schools and local authorities that could help make give purpose and aid the effectiveness of others planning similar moves into the community? The aims of the projects were diverse and ambitious, and this paper also considers the issues in trying to track outcomes either for the pupils themselves (i.e. attainment, attendance and engagement to learning) or for the community (i.e. employment, the culture of aspirations, the value given to education, and community cohesion).
Dr Lizz Todd (United Kingdom)
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)