» Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Asked to confirm reports today that the Government was planning a manifesto pledge to extend school opening hours for the purposes of increased childcare opportunities, the PMOS said that manifestos were party political and therefore not a matter for him. However, the Education Secretary had answered questions about this issue in media interviews today. The Government recognised that there was a real value in building up the role of schools as a centre in the community delivering a range of services. That was why, as set out in the Children’s Green Paper last year, we were moving forward with the idea of ‘extended schools’, i.e. schools which offered a full range of services, including childcare and health on site, with at least one such school in each community. Schools already had flexibility over their own opening hours. For example, many were introducing breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. However, the Government’s proposals needed to reflect the needs and wishes of parents and headteachers on the ground and that was what they would do.

Asked about the cost implications of such a scheme, the PMOS said that the allocations for education had been set out up until the next Spending Review, which was due in the summer. He pointed out that the Government was already investing heavily in childcare places, Children’s Tax Credit, Sure Start, breakfast clubs etc. This was clearly an area where the Government was already focussing its attention.

Asked if this was a ‘re-announcement’ in the light of the fact that pilot schemes were already up and running in London, the PMOS pointed out that he hadn’t announced anything. He had already made clear that work in this area was already being taken forward. He was simply answering questions based on reports which had appeared in a couple of newspapers this morning, the main point of them being the suggestion that the scheme could be rolled out nationally.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


February 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jan   Mar »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh