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Chapter 22.       Extended Schools - Download this file

22 EXTENDED SCHOOLS

 

            CHAPTER SUMMARY

 

            This chapter explains the governing body’s role in securing access for pupils to extended services and making decisions on the form they should take. The governing body must:

 

·                ensure that extended services benefit the public and any profits made are reinvested in the service or in the school;

·               ensure that extended services help promote high standards of education;

·               consult with the Local Authority (LA), school staff, parents of its school’s registered pupils, registered pupils themselves and any other persons the governing body considers appropriate;

·               have regard to any advice given to them by the LA and to guidance that has been issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF);

·               register day­care facilities provided directly by the school with Ofsted until September 2008.

 

            GOVERNING BODIES’ POWERS AND DUTIES

 

The Charitable Purpose requirement

 

1.         The governing body has the power to provide, or enter into contracts to provide, any facilities or services that will further any “charitable purpose” for the benefit of pupils at its school, families of pupils, and people who live and work in the local community. This power is in addition to governing bodies’ pre­existing powers and responsibilities regarding the control and community use of school premises (see chapter 21 of this Guide on Control and Community Use of School Premises).

 

2.         The phrase “charitable purpose” has particular legal meaning that does not coincide with its popular meaning. To be “charitable” in this sense, the activity must benefit the public or a section of it and either:

 

·                     relieve poverty;

·                     advance education;

·                     advance religion;

or

·                     be for another purpose that the law recognises as charitable.

 

Most services and activities that schools want to provide, for example, childcare, adult and family learning, co­located health and social services, parenting support and other facilities of benefit to the local community, such as credit unions or ICT access, are charitable in this sense. Any profits that a school may make from providing such services must be reinvested in the service or in the school.

 

3.         To further such activities a governing body may incur expenditure, provide services, commission others to provide services, enter into legal agreements and charge for services or facilities subject to certain limitations.

 

Restrictions on extended services

 

4.         A governing body cannot engage in any activity that might interfere with its duty to conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school. The governing body’s use of the power is also subject to any limits or restrictions contained in the school’s instrument of government or in its trust deed (if it has one) and to any local directions issued by the LA regarding the control of school premises.

  

5.         Before implementing any plans to provide facilities or services using the power, the governing body must consult the LA, school staff, parents of its registered pupils, registered pupils themselves (where this is appropriate) and any other persons the governing body considers appropriate. The governing body must also have regard to any advice given to it by the LA and to guidance that has been issued by the DCSF.

 

6.         There is a wide range of guidance available on the provision of services, as detailed at the end of this chapter. This provides advice on a number of practical issues such as:

 

·  partnership working and relationships with other agencies

· access to funding sources

· governance arrangements

· finance

· staffing

· health and safety

· security

· premises and related issues.

 

            Separate, but connected guidance on developing childcare provision in schools is also available. Further information on a series of topics relating to extended schools, including a guide on governors’ roles and governance, is available on the TeacherNet website.

 

OFSTED REGISTRATION AND INSPECTION FOR CHILDCARE FACILITIES

 

7.         Until September 2008, day­care facilities for children under the age of eight provided directly by schools have to be registered with and inspected by Ofsted under Part 10A of the Children Act 1989. Ofsted’s registration and inspection process is based on an assessment of compliance with the National Standards for Day Care and Childminding and includes checks to ensure that those working in the facility are suitable to do so and that the premises are suitable. Criminal Records Bureau checks form part of this process. Following the Education Act 2005, all inspections of early years education are being combined with childcare inspections where possible so that the majority of providers, including schools, get a single inspection event and report every three years.

 

8.         From September 2008, childcare that is not provided directly by a school will be required to be registered by Ofsted under the Childcare Act 2006. Childcare provided by the school for children from birth to three must be registered. However, childcare provided by the school for children over three will not be required to be registered. Childcare that is provided directly by a school means childcare that is provided by the school’s governing body, on or off the school site, where at least one pupil of the school attends. School childcare will still be expected to meet the requirements of registration and will be inspected through the school inspection system. Parents will still be able to use tax credit and employer supported childcare vouchers for that childcare.

 

9.         Since April 2007, childcare that is not required to be registered by Ofsted can be registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register, under the Childcare Act 2006. Care that is not currently required to be registered is care that is activity based, provided in the child’s own home (e.g. nannies) or for children aged eight and over. Where a school engages childcare providers who are not required to be registered by Ofsted, it is advised only to work with providers who are registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register.

 

SURE START CHILDRENS CENTRES

 

10.              Throughout the country there are growing numbers of Sure Start Children’s Centres, providing integrated services to the families of children up to the age of five. Increasing numbers of these will be co-located with schools, but there may be differing types of relationships between the school and children’s centre. These give rise to challenges in how these services are governed. There are a number of different models that schools may wish to adopt, depending on the circumstances.

 

 

·               The children’s centre advisory board may be completely separate from the school governing body.

·               The governing body may take on the role of the children’s centre advisory board.

·               The governing body may run the children’s centre through its extended services powers under the Education Act 2002 and have a children’s centre advisory sub-committee.

·               The governing body may form a joint committee with the governing bodies of other schools and have a joint advisory board.

 

            More details are available in the guidance on governance of Sure Start Children’s Centres and Extended schools.

 

THE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 1995 (DDA) AND EXTENDED SERVICES

 

11.       In the DDA schools have duties under Part 2 as employers, under Part 3 as service providers (and in due course, as public authorities) and under Part 4 as education providers. When governors of extended schools provide extended services, they will need to be clear as to which part of the Act is engaged and impacts upon their functions and responsibilities towards disabled pupils, users or employees. It is possible that governors’ responsibilities might change according to the service being delivered, and why and to whom it is being delivered.

 

12.       Governors will also need to establish, when services are provided by a third party on schools’ premises, either independently of the school or on behalf of the school, who, under the DDA, will be regarded as the service provider with the responsibility to make “reasonable adjustments” and/or access improvements. This will ensure that disabled people are not unjustifiably discriminated against in their access to the service. This is a complex area of the law and governors might find it prudent to obtain expert advice.

 

THE LAW

 

N.B. As legislation is often amended and Regulations introduced, the references made in this Guide may be to legislation that has been superseded. For an up-to-date list of legislation applying to schools, please refer to the GovernorNet website, www.governornet.co.uk

 

Education Act 2002: Sections 27 and 28, Schedule 1, Paragraph 3(1) and Schedule 3, Paragraphs 2–5

 

Children Act 1989, Part 10 (as amended by the Care Standards Act 2000)

 

GUIDANCE

 

An Introduction to Extended Schools: providing opportunities and services for all

 

Extended Schools: access to opportunities and services for all: a prospectus

 

Planning and funding extended schools: a guide for schools, local authorities and their partner organisations

 

Governance Guidance for Sure Start Children’s Centres and Extended Schools

 

Childcare in Extended Schools: providing opportunities and services for all

 

Know how leaflet: Governors’ roles and governance

 

Further information and leaflets are available at Extended schools practical know how on the TeacherNet website.

 

DCSF guidance: Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in schools and early years settings: a training resource for schools and local authorities