Early years intervention is key to the future of education
As part of a series of special reports in the Yorkshire Evening Post leading up to the general election in December, co-founder Scott Warrington spoke to the newspaper about SLS’s work in the region and why opening up school facilities to local communities has a multitude of benefits.
In Yorkshire, SLS works with 53 schools across the region to hire out sports halls, classrooms, libraries and kitchens after the school bell has rung. In addition to the £13m revenue SLS has generated for schools since 2011, SLS worked with Ossett Academy to provide £20,000 worth of funding for repairs to the swimming pool to ensure it could remain open for the local community’s use.
Scott explained: “We always ask why a school wants to hire out space. Some want to engage with the community, some have a problem with pupil numbers and want to market themselves but nine times out of ten it is about money because they are struggling.
“There is building of new sports facilities, but schools have some of the best in the area yet they often close their doors at 5 pm due to constraints on their own time and resources. Young people should be able to go back to school after they have had their tea and do positive stuff.”
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, cabinet member for education at Leeds City Council, added: “We have a school repair backlog of £100m but get £6m funding a year so that is not even close to getting on top of that. If you have a quality building, it shows children you are taking education seriously, it makes them want to learn and to be at school.”
Read the full Yorkshire Evening Post article here.