Community Schools Around the World

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Since 1994, when The Children's Aid Society established its National Center for Community Schools, we have hosted thousands of interested educators, civic leaders, funders and elected officials. At least 20 countries have sent delegations to see community schools in action.

Several of these countries, most notably England, the Netherlands and Scotland, have adopted community schools as a national reform strategy. Here are some highlights of their work:


With help from Children's Aid (including a presentation to England’s Parliament by former CEO Philip Coltoff), the British government in 2002 adopted Extended Schools as a national reform strategy. The stated goal was that every school in England would be an Extended School by 2010. Recent reports indicate that there are now 2,400 Extended Schools in England.

The Netherlands

Over the past decade, Children's Aid has hosted many colleagues from the Netherlands, including a group of 30 principals. Our Dutch colleagues report that there are at least 500 community schools now in their country. While community schools are not yet part of the official government policy for school reform, it is estimated that by 2010, at least 300 of the 500 local school authorities will sponsor community schools.


At the national level, the Scottish Executive outlined a vision and plan for community schools, organized on a regional basis, through Scotland’s Council structure. The vision offers assurances that all of Scotland’s young people will be safe, nurtured, healthy, achieving, active, respected, responsible and included. This New Community Schools initiative began in November, 1998, with a pilot involving 150 schools. Based on the success of the community schools expansion since 1998, the Scottish Executive recently announced that every school will be part of an Integrated Children’s Services system.