After the bell: out of school hours activities for children and young people: a guide for donors and funders

Document type
Yeowart, Clare; McKenzie, Dinah
New Philanthropy Capital
Date of publication
1 December 2007
Children and Young People, Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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This document provides a guide for funders and donors looking to contribute to charities and organisations providing out of school activities for children and young people. The report focuses on activities organised by or in association with schools to support children’s education and development. Out of school hours activities are usually voluntary and can take place at any time outside lessons: before or after school, during lunch breaks, at weekends or in school holidays. They take a multitude of forms, including homework clubs, booster and revision sessions, breakfast clubs, sporting activities, outdoor adventures, arts and crafts, drama workshops, IT sessions, community service, hobby clubs, choirs and orchestras, and mother tongue tuition. They offer children and young people a chance to: go somewhere safe and supervised; take part in constructive activities; develop new interests; acquire new skills; make new friends; improve their health and fitness; gain experience of university or work; and get support and guidance from adults. They also benefit working parents and the wider community by giving young people worthwhile and enjoyable activities that keep them out of harm’s way. The research suggests that the greatest challenge facing schools and charities that provide out of school hours activities is to make them sustainable. Without a coherent long-term strategy for provision, the benefits of these activities are likely to remain small-scale and short-lived. Donors should therefore look for organisations that have proved successful at assessing local needs and working with other agencies to provide a coordinated response.