Located in the heart of our communities, ‘Community Focused Schools’ play a key role in tackling the impacts of poverty and socio-economic disadvantages to education success. They connect families, schools, and communities to provide a combined approach to learning and development beyond school hours.
Research shows that a well-developed community school approach can improve attendance, behaviour, attainment, and aspirations of young people. This approach can also positively influence the lives of family and community members.
The home environment and wider community can also have a major impact on the outcomes of many disadvantaged learners. However, the community school approach, has allowed many of our schools in Ogmore to work collaboratively with these influences by opening their doors to the local community to support our children and young people more effectively.
A recent visit to Betws Primary School highlighted the success of a community focus approach with a very active ‘parent social group’ who meet weekly on site for ‘coffee mornings’ and undertake many social events. Another shining example was seen at Ffaldau Primary School in Pontycymer, where I visited recently with the Minister for Education. From building links with local groups, encouraging family inclusion, to opening up sporting facilities for public use, the open and welcoming nature of these schools is clearly having a positive impact on our communities.
I am delighted to hear that the £40 million funding recently announced by the Welsh Labour Government will help transform more of Ogmore’s schools into community-focused schools and help parents and carers to further engage in their children’s learning.
This is on top of the £2.5 million funding provided to the Education Welfare Service to help protect partnerships between schools, families, communities, and other agencies.