In September 2009, we launched the Learning Exchange, a moderated networking website for anyone involved in developing and managing extra-curricular activities and programmes.
If you want to improve schools, raise aspirations and improve outcomes for children, young people, their families and communities, then the Learning Exchange is for you! Join now.
The Learning Exchange offers you the chance to join forums and discuss issues or practices, space to write your own blog, a chance to network with other members, dip into a growing library and collection of case studies and to build your own selection of useful documents. Members also receive regular e-newsletters pointing out Learning Exchange highlights and interesting, inspiring news and features.
The site now has over 1,000 members, whose roles range from teachers and headteachers to family support workers, youth workers and sports coaches.
Extended schools support
The Learning Exchange website represents the most recent development of a very successful, long-term relationship with the Department for Education (previously the Department for Children, Schools and Families) in which we supported the government’s extended schools agenda in England.
Through our Regional Development Managers (RDMs), we offered targeted support to schools and local authorities to help them improve the quality of the services they offer. We provided almost 1,500 days of this support over the course of 2009–10. We also produced and disseminated high-quality resources for those working in the field and supported practice sharing events for practitioners.
Feedback on our support and on the Learning Exchange has been extremely positive. In a recent survey, 78 per cent of practitioners who received our supprt said it had directly helped them to improve the quality of their work; and 80 per cent of Learning Exchange users rated it as a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ tool.
Thanks to the quality of our support, we have been able to contribute to a transformation in the services schools offer, with virtually every school in the country now offering some form of extended services.
We helped schools to improve pupils’ achievements and aspirations by providing advice, training and resources to help them develop out-of-school-hours learning (oshl) opportunities, including cookery, singing, physical activity, reading and breakfast clubs.
As part of our work with the Department for Education, we developed an extensive online resource which provided in-depth advice, guidance and information about how to set up and run study support programmes. You can still access this resource, but please be aware that some of the content may now be out-of-date:
Continuing the work
During the Autumn term we will be introducing new resources and support to enable schools to provide effective extra-curricular activities. This will be available via the Learning Exchange.