New Opportunities Fund Summer School Schemes, 2000-2002 : An evaluation of 30 schemes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Keith Mason, Pye David

01 May 2003

This report describes an NFER evaluation of the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) funded Out of School Hours Learning Programme (OSHL) summer schools schemes. These were implemented as a means of improving levels of achievement and combating disaffection among various pupil groups. Research aims focus on assessing the overall effectiveness of the NOF programme as well as its sustainability. Over three years a broadly representative selection of 30 summer school projects across the UK was evaluated in the form of detailed case studies. The report is structured as a series of detailed theme-based chapters each including related recommendations. They are: general aims of summer schools; content of schemes; partnership models; internal monitoring and evaluation; an overview of differing participating groups; successful and less successful aspects of good practice; issues related to the future of the summer schools initiative and its sustainability. Conclusions are discussed in some detail, noting that the narrow remit of the evaluation - only 30 schemes country-wide - must have an impact on any valid comparative assessment of the overall success of the initiative within the four participating countries.

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