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£2M BOOST FOR STUDY SUPPORT WELCOMED

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A£2.2 million lottery boost for out of school hours learning ...
A£2.2 million lottery boost for out of school hours learning

activities - part of an overall£240m package of support - was

welcomed by Schools Minister Jacqui Smith today.

The New Opportunities Fund announced the first set of successful applications for funding for study support projects up and down Britain. More than£2m was today awarded to 10 schemes in England covering over 100 schools.

Ms Smith said: 'This is great news for study support. Out of hours learning activities forms an integral part of the Government's strategy for raising standards. Good study support, whether it be supervised homework clubs, after school sport, music, drama or other activities can bring real benefits to young people. It increases self-esteem, improves motivation and above all helps pupils to become more effective learners. Out of hours learning activities are increasingly popular with parents and pupils - around half of pupils attend at least one after school club a week.

'Today's announcement by NOF is the first in a series which will see a total of£160m allocated for study support in England over the next three years. From next year, this support will be further strengthened by£80 million from the DfEE's Standards Fund. NOF's target is to support out of hours learning activities in at least half of secondary and special schools and 25% of primary schools by 2002 - that's more than 6,000 schools in England. This money will enable schools substantially to expand their provision for learning activities before and after the school day.'

The NOF funding announced today includes:

a new Cyber Cafe, at Shelley High School in Kirklees; additional provision of sports and arts activities at 89 Tower Hamlets schools; an expansion of a homework and computer club at Springwell Dene Special School in Sunderland.

Ms Smith said: 'I want to congratulate the successful schools and their partners for putting together well thought out bids. My Department is putting substantial resources into study support. From next year£20m of Standards Fund money will be available with a further£60m in 2001-2002. We are working closely with partners to ensure that support and a wide range of good practice materials is available for schools setting up, or already running, study support activities.'

NOTES

1. Full details of the breakdown of the successful bids are available on the NOF website at www.nof.org.uk.

2. The New Opportunities Fund (NOF) was created by the National Lotteries act 1998. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport which distributes lottery money to health, educational and environmental initiatives.

3. Most of NOF's£160m study support funding is being allocated between now and summer 2001 with money to be spent by 2004. DfEE Standards Fund money becomes available from April 2000, with£20m in 2000-2001 and£60m in 2001- 2002.

4. All bids to NOF must involve a named state school. Schools can bid individually or in partnership with other organisations - for example local libraries, colleges, the youth service, businesses, parents and voluntary and community groups. LEAs can put forward strategic bids on behalf of their schools. To reach their overall targets of 50% of secondary schools and 25% of primaries, NOF estimate that the average size of an award might be in the region of£43,000 per secondary school and£11,000 per primary.

5. DfEE guidance on study support is set out in Extending opportunity: a national framework for study support. Further guidance is given in the Code of Practice and Handbook for Secondary Schools, the Code of Practice for the Primary Sector and the Code of Practice for Public Libraries. These are all freely available from DfEE or its partners. There is also a DfEE Study Support Young Person's Guide with accompanying video and teachers pack. An interactive website for teachers is at www.standards.dfee.gov.uk/guidance/studysupport.

6. Details of the enlarged #1.6 billion DfEE Standards Fund for 2000-2001, and the criteria for allocating study support funds (there is a focus on special schools and schools in areas of disadvantage as measured by Free School Meals eligibility) are contained in the Standards Fund Circular 16/99 issued by DfEE on 17 September.

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