The future lies in extended schools, according to the Government. Education Correspondent Shahid Naqvi visited one school that is leading the way...
For the past two years St Michael's High School has been doing what every school in the country will soon have to do.
More than just educating its pupils, it is performing a much bigger role within the community.
Youngsters at the school, in Rowley Regis, Sandwell, benefit from a range of extra curricular activities that would be the envy of many private education institutions.
In the current academic year there are dance classes, a German market, a French trip, a visit to Italy, a two-week summer residential break in Wales, and an arts residential course.
Other activities include rugby, indoor rowing, massage, aerobics, jewellery making, trampolining and cooking workshops.
But the service the school provides goes even further than that.
Pupils can seek out help with every problem they may have, from advice on relationships and drugs to support dealing with bullies.
Headteacher Rod Worthington describes the extended school as a "full service".
"When I am talking to various guests they say 'what on earth is that?'," he said.
"I describe it as activities that extend beyond the normal range of the curriculum, beyond the normal timetable and beyond the normal hours.
"The full service bit refers to the fact that the school engages with a wider range of agencies and services."
Another way of highlighting the difference in what the school offers is by breaking it down into three categories, according to Mr Worthington.
Under the first heading is 'learning opportunities'.
"There are a whole range of additional activities for students that go beyond the traditional school hours to enhance and enrich learning," he said. "It can be sport activities or GCSE coursework and revision."
Under the second heading is 'information and advice'.
The school works with nurses to give parents and pupils advice in areas such as diet. It also runs enterprise courses advising people within the community on how to start their own business.
Under the closely-linked third category comes 'support'.
Mark Wilkes, the school's deputy head, explained: "It's about engaging with other agencies because they have staff who have training in a wider area who can engage with things beyond our remit such as drugs advice and sex awareness.
"We can signpost youngsters to the most appropriate people to talk to if youngsters have any difficulties."
All this, of course, requires additional money. The school was given £40,000 in Government cash to kickstart a pilot as an extended school. Through that funding it has been able to employ an extended schools manager.
However, the problem is making the programme sustainable, said Mr Worthington.
"In order to do this range of activities really effectively you need to have some dedicated money coming into schools as part of your budget.
"We realise there is a finite amount of money out there. Whatever scheme you introduce you have to think about sustaining it.
"You can't do that unless there is appropriate funding coming in."
Mr Wilkes added: "You can't create expectations and then take them away because where does your credibility lie then? We have managed to keep things going but that was down to the goodwill of staff. Fortunately we have a lot of goodwill from teachers but you can't keep calling on that year after year.
"If you offer something you have to make it sustainable."
Within the next few years, St Michael's High is to be torn down and completely rebuilt under the Government's £60 billion Building Schools for the Future drive.
The new design, which is currently being drawn up, will take into account what a new extended school should look like.
"One of the nice challenges we have got is, as well as thinking about the teaching and learning side, what the school has to look like to function as an extended school," said Mr Worthington.
"That is where you will have space for people from the health authority and citizens advice."