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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Extended services through schools

Extended services are additional services and activities offered by schools to pupils, their families and the community. These services often take place outside of normal school hours and can include access to childcare, sports activities and support for learning. Find out what might be on offer and get information about possible costs and financial help.

Do all schools offer access to extended services?

Decisions about which extended services to offer are made by the schools themselves. To get information about which services are being offered by your child’s school, you should contact the school directly.

Types of extended services on offer

Extended services schools might offer include access to:

  • learning opportunities outside of the school day, like study support or homework clubs
  • parent support services or more specialist services like health, social care or special educational needs services
  • sports and arts activities
  • childcare services before and after school
  • school facilities for members of the community such as those used for adult and family learning, sports and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Can schools charge for extended services activities?

Schools may charge for extended services activities like breakfast clubs, out of school clubs (including homework clubs) and childcare. Charges can cover things like the cost of non-teaching or teaching staff used to lead activities or a supply teacher brought in to run a club. The total charge must not be more than the cost of providing the activity and no parent should be asked to cover the costs for others.

Even if they take place outside of school hours, schools cannot charge for activities if they form part of the:

  • National Curriculum
  • syllabus for a public examination the school is preparing pupils for
  • school’s basic curriculum for religious education

Financial help to pay for extended services

If you work and pay for your child’s out of school clubs, you may be able to get tax credits to help with the costs. The amount of tax credit received depends on parental income. However, to qualify, the club or clubs must be registered with Ofsted on either:

  • the compulsory register for children aged five to seven
  • the voluntary register for children aged eight and over

Clubs run directly by the school are not required to register.

You can get help with the costs of childcare provided through extended services via the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit. To see if you are eligible follow the link below.

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