Out-of-school-time (OST) programmes typically provide children with additional academic lessons outside of school hours and/or recreational and enrichment activities. To examine the evidence base on OST programmes, Jennifer McCombs and colleagues from the RAND Corporation reviewed meta-analyses and large-scale, rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations of after-school and summer programmes. Their review included specialty programmes (eg, sports or arts programmes); multipurpose programmes (eg, Boys and Girls clubs); and academic programmes (eg, summer learning programmes).
After reviewing the research, the authors compiled the following conclusions:
- OST programmes provide measurable benefits to children and families on outcomes directly related to programme content.
- Academic OST programmes with sufficient “dosage” (measured by the hours of content provided) can demonstrably improve pupil achievement.
- Programme quality and intentionality influence outcomes.
- Children need to attend regularly to measurably benefit from programming.
The authors provide a complete list of studies reviewed and their key findings.
A previous issue of Best Evidence in Brief included a study by the Nuffield Foundation, which examines the effect of OST study programmes on GCSE performance in England.
Source: The value of out-of-school-time programmes (2017), PE-267-WF, RAND Corporation