SCHOOLS of the future should provide an integrated service for children and be open all hours as a "learning resource" for the whole community, according to the school standards minister.
Giving evidence to the education select committee, Stephen Byers said that the Government wanted to see primary schools providing on the same site all the services required by children. "I have been discussing with Alan Milburn, the health minister, linking schools with health services," he said. "Primary schools could provide a range of services, including health and Sure Start, for nought to three-year-olds, using capital from private finance. We then could identify at an early age any child who has problems and potential future truants."
Secondary schools should open their facilities and extra services to the whole community after school hours.
Mr Byers said his department was spending Pounds 2 billion in capital on schools that were open for only 52 per cent of the year and this was not good value for money.