The Challenge

Support a school to develop meaningful partnerships with its community to create solutions to local challenges.

Develop a community childcare offer

Create training and employment opportunities for families


Robinswood Primary School, Matson, Gloucester


September 2016 – September 2018


RIO’s Connected Schools Programme

RIO - Connected Schools

The RIO solution 

Robinwood Primary School, which sits on the Matson housing estate in Gloucester runs a successful breakfast club, offered to working parents and children receiving pupil premium, however, there is not an after-school facility close to the school to offer childcare after 3pm. The area has high unemployment rates and a lack of childcare provision is a barrier to many families entering work. Through practical support from the Connected Schools Programme, RIO worked with the school to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with key community stakeholders, with arts and cultural organisation, community organisations and businesses.

The School and community stakeholders worked to develop an affordable afterschool childcare provision that focused the needs of its community. The school, community partners, cultural organisations and parents have worked together to establish a childcare offer, where individuals can gain low cost childcare, while parents who are seeking pre-employment opportunities can gain skills and training. The partnership has identified creative and cultural activity as a key way to develop self-esteem and raise ambition amongst pupils in their school as well as supporting a community to raise their aspirations.  To date, they have employed two members of the community, who will lead and coordinate activity and through partnership thriving after school club that offers art enrichment activities for pupils and, courses and learning opportunities to support adult development.

Stats and Facts

  • Schools sits within the Matson and Robinswood ward, contains the largest social housing estate in Gloucester
  • Almost 40% of households in Matson and Robinswood are social housing tenants.
  • Matson has a strong history of residents’ self-organisation and co-operation to sustain local initiatives and community assets such as the local library and community spaces.
  • As a result of this work a strategic umbrella network Culture Matson has formed. The aim of the network is to ‘bring about positive change by enabling more arts and creative projects’ across the area.
How The Project Was Received

“In Matson, a barrier for most people was accessing employment and training opportunities. We had been thinking about the adults in the families we support, not just the children, and how we could help people to return to work. By engaging on the Connected Schools programme, it meant we could explore how to provide a better service and level of support for the local community. The Connected Schools programme has supported us to achieve a greater level of pupil and parental engagement. This has had a real effect of the wellbeing of the pupils and has enabled us to broaden the horizons of the pupils too. We have also learnt how to work with key partners and how to make the most of these partnerships across the community, it has helped us to cement our position as a central point in our community”

Headteacher of Robinswood Primary School

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