Primary Extended Schools – Whole-Community Outreach

How one school has widened its services for more than a decade Our Lady, Star of the Sea is a Catholic primary school serving a parish close to the docks in Bootle, Liverpool. Although the Government agenda for extended schools is new, this school has been offering services to the community since 1990. The area has many indices of deprivation: poor local amenities (no supermarket, library, health centre or cash point), high levels of unemployment, and over half of pupils eligible for free school meals. Headteacher Phil Gretton says, ‘For us extended schools are a way of rethinking a school’s position in the community and how it can reach out to both parents and children.’ The school offers extensive after-hours activities, holiday clubs, a credit union run by parents, a ‘Parents as educators’ scheme, a StartRight Toddler group, a Fun4Kidz after-school club, a breakfast club and crèche facilities. Most of the funding for these projects has been obtained from grants.

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