Schools as community hubs open all the time

Schools as community hubs open all the time

There are over 100 primary schools in Bristol with fantastic facilities, playgrounds, fields, halls, rooms, kitchens…………but they are generally shut to their communities for more hours than they are open for education and learning.

They could be open after school every day, at weekends, and in the holidays providing a familiar social play space for children and families where they can also do the sports, arts and other activities that children thrive on, where parents and the local community can come together for community events, a base from which to organise trips and activities, with a community kitchen doing food, a library…………. Each community taking ownership to deliver the mix of uses that that community wants.

School associations could create a sense of community within the area, a meeting place for past pupils keeping them in touch with each other and with each new generation.

This is not the responsibility of the teachers. They have a full time job teaching and can help but it is not their responsibility. It is ours as parents, grandparents and community members but we need support to facilitate us and allow us to use what is already ours. We cannot do it alone. We need to come together as partnerships around each school with sports clubs, arts groups, charities, scouts, churches, businesses, educationalists all working together to bring up our children in supportive, inclusive communities.

Some schools already do this, or are well on their way, but we need to set it as a clear aim for all our schools and then work towards it.

Why the contribution is important

It supports children and families in our communities

It will give our children the environment in which they can thrive and learn well

It can create a sense of community which is so often lost within a city

It can reduce travel if keen parents no longer have to drive their children to football, dance, karate, scouts, music lessons……. And make those things more readily available for those who don’t have the time, money, ability or inclination to do it.

It supports the idea of a Green City by making better use of what we have and reducing travel

It facilitates a more healthy lifestyle

It is replicable across the city and around the world

It interprets child protection and health and safety to support children and families rather than isolating us and dividing us

by user825742 on December 11, 2013 at 09:55AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.3
Based on: 15 votes


  • Posted by user986374 December 11, 2013 at 12:28

    Great idea - particularly during the holidays and week-ends
  • Posted by user920528 December 13, 2013 at 16:10

    This idea has been around since I began teaching in the 60's in London. Somehow it never catches on. On the face of it, it is a sensible idea to open up all those resources but... Schools, ironically very resistant to intrusion. Major problems with security around equipment etc
  • Posted by user129437 December 13, 2013 at 16:33

    While a good idea, most schools are now academies and so the land isn't owned by the council. Also they are run as businesses, so if they can do this why wouldn't they charge for wear and tear?
  • Posted by user690930 December 14, 2013 at 16:11

    In this speeded up world its also a place fopr children and adults to go and reverse the trend of citizens sitting on a chail locked away in a dark room living in a Virtual World that reduces their ability to Socialise Face To Face
  • Posted by user792671 January 02, 2014 at 23:35

    Unfortunately this idea has become much more difficult since successive governments took many secondary schools out of public sector funding. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do it where we can!
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