Work by the charity ContinYou has uncovered a similar situation of inequality and lack of opportunities beyond the classroom for looked-after children and other vulnerable groups. ContinYou would like to see not only a commitment to ensuring equal access to high-quality, affordable out-of-school-hours activities (also known as study support), but would also like to encourage all children and young people to design and run the clubs and activities themselves.
However, ContinYou recognises the importance of maximising the flexibility of such funds. For many children, it is not the nature of the activity that prevents them from participating, but often more logistical problems such as travelling to and from an activity beyond the school day. Ensuring any identified funds can be used to overcome such barriers will ease the frustration for those now unable to attend.
Similarly, encouraging schools to use the flexibilities offered by the workforce reforms and extended schools to reshape the core school day will help them to offer truly inclusive opportunities and to meet the personal learning needs of each pupil.
Jenna Hall and Ian Fordham. ContinYou extended services team 17 Old Ford Road Bow, London E3