Charity calls for greater focus on communities

20th November 2009 at 00:00

Funding concerns should not stop schools striving to become more community focused, according to an education charity.

Pam Boyd, director of ContinYou Cymru, said there are still communities across Wales that are not benefiting from the wider educational and social opportunities offered by their local schools.

As the organisation held its annual conference in Llandrindod Wells this week, Ms Boyd told TES Cymru that schools do not need to go it alone.

"The big challenge is to get schools working together with local authorities and voluntary bodies and linking the services they have to offer to meet the needs of their communities," she said.

"By pooling budgets, streamlining and cutting out duplication, we can maximise the funding we have got and really think about how we can spend it; different budgets can deliver different aspects."

The theme of ContinYou Cymru's fifth annual conference was how community-focused schools and out-of-school-hours learning activities are improving learning and well-being for all.

Speakers included David Hawker, the director of the Assembly government's Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, and Keith Towler, the Children's Commissioner for Wales.

A series of workshops explored how community-focused schools can host counselling services and adult learning opportunities as well as promote well-being for children and adults.

In the new year, ContinYou Cymru is launching an online code of practice for out-of-school-hours learning.

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