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Open for 14 hours a day, six days a week

The concept of the extended school has been the norm at Millfields community primary for almost five years.

The 600-pupil school for three to 11-year-olds, in Hackney, east London, opens at 6.30am for breakfast and closes at 8.30pm.

It also opens on Saturdays when local residents can use the toy library or attend adult learning classes.

In all, it offers 20 after-school activities including tap-dancing, drama, musical instrument tuition, judo, street jazz and soccer coaching, which is run with Arsenal football club.

There are also lessons in Turkish and Spanish, and provision for children with autism.

Youngsters can have breakfast before taking part in a keep-fit class to get them ready for the start of lessons at 9am. A nominal fee of 50p is charged to those who can afford it, but many children are subsidised by the school.

Anna Hassan, headteacher, said Millfields was in the process of developing its relationship with health and social services.

She said: "What the Government is proposing is what we have been doing for many years because those were the needs of the children and their parents.

"This is a needy school serving a needy area, and the parents love what we do and are very supportive."

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