Ribblesdale High School is situated in the town of Clitheroe in the heart of the Ribble Valley East Lancashire. The school wished to develop a coordinated locality approach to the delivery of holiday clubs and other extended school activities across the valley over the summer months, in order to avoid unnecessary competition and duplication and to meet the needs of working parents/carers.
The schools initial aim was to produce a Summer Holiday Activities Newsletter in partnership with the Secondary and Primary schools in the Ribble Valley. A range of partners were also identified including Ribble Valley Borough Council Community Development Team, the Ribble Valley SPAA, Extended Services Officer and other statutory, voluntary and community sector partners.
A task and finsh group was called inviting all partners to attend and it was agreed that a joint newsletter would bring together schools and the Voluntary Community and Faith (VCF) sector. It would ensure that parents and carers, including those who have children with special/additional needs, have access to a comprehensive range of childcare information. It would also ensure that schools who did not provide summer holiday clubs direct could stilll meet the child care core offer through signposting to settings in the locality.
Community Transport ‘The little Green Bus’ agreed to offer free transport to the activities on offer over the summer to help to combat rural isolation this was supported through Extended Schools.
The newsletter was designed to act as a directory for after-school activities and holiday programmes in the area. Helping parents, carers and children to make the most of what is on offer in the community by providing up to date contacts and information.
Partners of the Task and Finish Group focused on achieving the Every Child Matters Agenda and the five outcomes that matter most to children *Be Healthy, *Stay Safe, *Enjoy & Achieve *Make a Positive Contribution *Achieve Economic Wellbeing.
Through promotion of activities, the project encourages children to be healthy through accessing a wide range of activities during term time, through out-of-school clubs; and during long school holidays through Holiday Clubs. This provides children with a safe place to be during school holidays. It gives children an opportunity to enjoy new experiences and make new friends and achieve new goals, and it encourages them to make a positive contribution and ultimately achieve economic wellbeing by learning new and transferable skills.
A lead organisation was identified, in this case it was Ribble Valley Borough Council, they asked all partners to collate and forward any Activities planned for Summer '08 to Diane, the Head of Administration. Diane then collated all the information received from the schools and other agencies. The Task and Finish Group agreed a draft design, including graphics and logos, to take to external printers ready for proof reading. A quote from the printers established the cost to be £2,700.00. Extended Services Direct Funding contribution was £2000.00 and Ribble Valley Borough Council contributed £700.00 and everyone gave the inkind contribution that was needed to ensure the project was completed.
A deadline date was given to the Printers to ensure production and delivery to schools before the end of the school term. The newsletter was put into bundles, one for each family, in each of the 40 schools across the Valley. Leaflets were delivered jointly by Ribble Valley Borough Council and Extended Services Officers. All schools therefore received hard copies of the newsletter for pupils to take home. Hard copies were distributed locally to Tourist Information, Libraries, Doctors Surgeries, Town Hall, Village Halls etc. This ensured that remote and rural areas of the Valley were informed and included through effective signposting. This work brought together schools situated in a rural area to work in an Extended School Cluster for the first time and led to further collaborative working.
This new innovative collaborative way of working proved very successful with many of the activities having a full attendance over the summer. Parents and carers valued the information source. The project now needs to become sustainable and the Newsletter has been taken to the Ribble Valley Youth Forum, Childrens Trust Board and the Ribble Valley SPAA for partnership funding for summer 09