Extracurricular Activities

Department for Education written question – answered at on 13 March 2024.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department is taking steps to support local partnerships between schools and youth organisations to support educational enrichment work in schools.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

Enrichment programmes encompass a wide range of activities, including sports, art, drama, outdoor experiences, debating, volunteering, business, tech or cooking. These activities can have a significant positive impact on young people, including on their academic progress and wellbeing and the department is committed to ensuring young people have access to high quality extra curricular opportunities.

Schools are best placed to understand and meet the specific needs of their pupils, and have flexibility to decide what range of extra curricular activities to offer. However, the department does support a range of initiatives to expand access to high quality extra curricular activities through schools, such as working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to all state secondary schools in England.

The Shared Outcomes Fund was originally set up in 2019 to incentivise departments to work collaboratively across challenging policy areas to deliver better value for citizens. In the Third Round of HM Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was were awarded a total of £3.4 million for the delivery of the Enrichment Partnerships Pilot (EPP), more information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shared-outcomes-fund-round-three. The EPP aims to improve the enrichment offer of up to 200 secondary schools in Education Investment Areas, testing whether greater coordination locally can enhance school enrichment offers, develop local partnerships and promote greater collaboration between schools on extra curricular activities.

The government has also invested £289 million to support the expansion of wraparound childcare for primary school children in England. Schools’ enrichment and extra curricular offers may interact with, complement and support the delivery of wraparound childcare provision. The department is supporting and encouraging schools to continue to offer enrichment and extra curricular activities and to consider how these activities can be delivered in a way that supports working parents. This may include working with local private providers who can support schools to deliver activities in a regular and reliable way.

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