HC Deb 04 May 2000 vol 349 c184W
12. Mr. Blizzard

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to establish a new entitlement to regular out-of-school-hours study support for older primary pupils and secondary schools. [119635]

Mr. Wills

We know that taking part in out-of-school-hours study support improves pupil attitudes and is linked to better performance at school. Virtually all schools already provide some study support activities and around half of all pupils attend at least one activity per week. We want to extend that to all pupils, which is why we have announced our intention to provide all older primary and secondary pupils with the opportunity to take part in these activities.

Evidence suggests that disadvantaged young people benefit most from the kind of study support opportunities that other young people may take for granted, such as learning to play a musical instrument or having the space or encouragement to do their homework. It is for these reasons that this Government have, for the first time, ring-fenced significant funding for study support, which we are targeting on young people from disadvantaged areas.

To date, almost 2,000 schools have benefited from a share of the £240 million that is available for study support through the New Opportunities Fund. In addition to this, around 6,800 schools are expected to benefit this year from £20 million of Standards Fund money for study support, and this amount will rise to £60 million next year.