SCHOOL'S OUT: Framework for the Development of Out-of-School Care
Out-of-school care (OSC) services are important. They provide very good social and developmental opportunities for children. Working parents need good-quality out-of-school care, and it can help parents, especially lone parents, into work.
Given the importance of OSC, it is good to know that there have been major changes for the better over the last few years. Clubs are now firmly established across Scotland.
We can, and should, do more. I want to see improvements in the stability of clubs so that they can grow and prosper and look to the future with confidence. More children in need should have places in clubs. Older children and young people should have clubs tailored to their needs. All this should be achieved against the background of wider integrated services. This means that clubs for school-age children and nursery places for younger children can be provided together. Clubs and study support can go together. There can be more clubs in schools, making best use of the integrated approaches to family support, health improvement and children's services in New Community Schools.
School's Out makes recommendations to:
- local authorities, working through childcare partnerships (which include the voluntary and private childcare sectors and health); and
- local enterprise companies
To help make progress with the recommendations, we are making extra resources available for the childcare strategy. Funding will increase from 16.75 million in 2002-2003 to 40.65 million in 2005-2006. This will allow local authorities and childcare partnerships, working with relevant organisations, to further expand, develop and sustain OSC services. We are also taking steps to deal with important strategic issues that can constrain the development of the best quality OSC. We will monitor and evaluate progress with all the recommendations. This will include a review during 2005-2006.
School's Out also provides guidance, information and examples of good practice. This shows the energy, drive and commitment already in operation at local level, and will help people exchange ideas and information in the future.
We produced School's Out with advice, help and knowledgeable contributions from a working group which included a representative from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), local authorities, voluntary and private childcare providers and a local enterprise company. I am grateful to the working group for their input. We also consulted with children and young people whose views have been important in considering the way forward.
Cathy Jamieson, MSP
Minister for Education and Young People
I am personally delighted to welcome the School's Out document. It is vitally important that councils play their part in the provision of out-of-school care and that flexible approaches are encouraged where required. I regard out-of-school care provision as a major factor in encouraging parents into education, training and work and, equally importantly, as providing positive, practical assistance for families in need of additional support. I hope that the publication of School's Out will act as a catalyst for all partners involved in the sector to seek to improve provision.
Helen S Law
COSLA Education Spokesperson