Community focused schools

Community focused schools

‘A Community Focused School is one that provides a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community’ (Community Focused Schools, Circular No 34/2003, National Assembly for Wales, which can be downloaded from the Welsh Assembly Government website).

Children and young people learn better and are in a better position to fulfil their potential if they are happy and healthy. Research shows that there is a range of factors outside schools which impact on children and young people’s well-being and their ability to effectively learn and achieve in school. The community focused schools approach is a way of working where schools, in partnership with councils and others, can address these factors to meet the needs of children and young people as well as supporting the core role of schools in improving learning and well-being and, through working in this way, the needs of families and communities.

‘Education outcomes do not just depend on schools. They are influenced by a range of factors including poverty, family circumstances, housing and health’ (School Effectiveness Framework, Building effective learning communities together, Welsh Assembly Government, February 2008).

Developing a community focused schools approach is part of the School Effectiveness Framework; an effective school needs to be a community focused school. Find out more about community focused schools by reading our information leaflet.

Community focused schools development in Wales …. and beyond

Since 2005, the Welsh Assembly Government has made some funding available to all 22 local authorities in Wales to develop community focused schools approaches in their areas, and will continue to make this funding available until 2011. Each local authority has a nominated officer with responsibility for developing community focused schools. To find out who this is in your area please contact

ContinYou Cymru is also contributing to international work on community schools.

Further information and support

ContinYou Cymru provides the Supporting Community Focused Schools (SCFS) Service, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, to all 22 local authorities in Wales and others to develop, and support the development of, community focused schools approaches.

For more information about the SCFS Service please contact

Go to our Resources section for materials and information which can support community focused schools developments. These include:

Community Focused Schools – a joint vision

Developed in partnership between ContinYou Cymru and the Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW).

Community Focused Schools, Making it happen: A toolkit

Supported by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and the Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW), the toolkit is seen as a blueprint for developing community focused schools.

Community Focused Schools: A Governors’ Pack

Produced in partnership with Governors’ Wales and with support from the Welsh Assembly Government, this provides information and guidance to governors on developing a community focused schools approach.

Community Focused Schools – Making it happen: a checklist for audit and inspection

Produced with support from the Welsh Assembly Government, and with input from Estyn as an aid for schools developing community focused services and activities to help present the work during an inspection. It supplements the toolkit.

The ‘go to’ guide – A signposting tool for community focused schools

A guide to support schools to develop effective ways to provide information about, and signposting to, key services.

Read Keith Towler’s (Children’s Commissioner for Wales) blog on his recent out of school hours visit to Tonypandy Community College.

ContinYou Cymru also provides a range of other services and programmes that support community focused schools and out of school hours learning developments.  

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