HC Deb 31 January 2000 vol 343 cc424-5W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many after-school clubs there are in England and Wales. [107122]

Jacqui Smith

The Government are committed to supporting after-school-hours provision to support pupils' learning and to provide child care for working parents.

DfEE does not itself collate information on the number of out-of-school child care clubs which have been set up, but Kids' Clubs Network estimate that there are now around 5,000 such schemes in England and Wales. In addition, the New Opportunities Fund has so far made awards to 361 new or expanded out-of-school child care clubs in England and Wales.

In England, research shows that 98 per cent. of primary and 99 per cent. of secondary schools already provide out-of-school-hours learning activities for their pupils. The New Opportunities Fund has already made grants covering 957 schools in England to help them provide more and better activities and by 2001 will have supported at least a quarter of primary and half of all secondary and special schools. From April this year, schools in disadvantaged areas will also be able to benefit from a new Standards Fund grant to help them fund out-of-school-hours learning. Out-of-school-hours learning in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly.