dc's school offers lots of free after school activities, but all of a sudden most are now by invitation only!

(19 Posts)
UniS Mon 07-Jan-13 20:12:55

could it be to stop people dropping in and out of clubs. I run a sports club after school that is by "invite" .Once a year a letter goes out via those children who say they are interested in the club ( when teacher asks) and of the reply’s to that letter I then sort out 4 groups of children who will each be invited to do the club for one half term. If they don't want the place after all I offer it someone else. I had 30 kids apply for a total of 24 spaces ( across the 4 half terms) so some missed out if they couldn't take up the space offered to them in that half term.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 13-Dec-12 07:15:59

The only way that you will know is to go and ask, and then check that they are following the criteria they have said.
I run two after school clubs and one at lunchtime. I do select the children, as they are always over-subscribed, none of the clubs are sporty ones.
I try and have a rough balance between the sexes, I do know the circumstances of all of the children applying and use them as a filter, but they are my clubs in my free time.
So it is widely known and accepted that there is always room for a child on the spectrum. I will also not accept children who misbehave and disrupt by choice.
I do third strike and you are out.

BackforGood Wed 12-Dec-12 22:59:59

There are so many possibilities, it does seem that if there's a specific club your child wants to go to, and your perception is that only some (other) children are invited, it would make sense to go and ask how he would get the chance to go.... is it first come first served, or those considered the most talented, or only for those with a certain criteria. You might let them know that if clubs aren't open to all, it might cause less angst if they weren't all put on the original letter, thereby implying that it might be something everyone could apply for.

We have this, two get picked from each class per term. Even to the point dd wanted to do eco club and took a huge amount of seeds in and was promised she could help plant them but wasn't picked.
Definately not a social premium in our case as I know mum of one who always gets picked and they are loaded.

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 22:32:21

Are you sure they're not for those on free school meals? Extra money is given for them and the school has to prove it's spending the money on them

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 22:32:21

Are you sure they're not for those on free school meals? Extra money is given for them and the school has to prove it's spending the money on them

purpleroses Wed 12-Dec-12 22:22:41

My ds's has just been ticked off by Ofsted for not using the new Pupil Premium specifically for those it was intended for. Could that be what's going on? You can surely ask the school how they decide who to invite. My DD's old school used to make kids wait a term or pull names out a hat when clubs were over subscribed but it seems very unfair to only offer them to certain kids when others would like to go.

nagynolonger Tue 11-Dec-12 15:34:41

Mine are not at primary now but I'm sure it was never just turn up for everything.

Tennis was limited numbers and names were drawn out of a hat.......some names never got put in.

Football training was open to all years 3, 4, 5 and 6. The team was selected only from years 5 and 6. Some years there was a half day tournament for years 3 and 4.

Tag rugby was for years 5 & 6

Netball was year 5 and 6 girls.

Kwik cricket was open to all juniors. Only the best were picked to play in inter-school tournaments. Only boys who also played for local clubs were picked. Some parents were not pleased when year 3s were chosen over the older ones.

Recorder group was open to all juniors.

Chess group was for the more able.......Caused lots of trouble!

Arts and craft was open to years 2,3,4.

There was a choir. I think that was probably by invitation.....mine were not invited.

Handbells everyone wanted to have a go but very few were chosen because there weren't many bells and the person running it could really only cope with well behaved DC. Only year 6 got chosen.

The whole school (except year R) went swimming every week. Teams for the galas were selected by the HT and all those chosen swam for local clubs.

Cross country. Anyone who wanted could run around the school field at lunch.
For the competitions. The fastest 4 boys and 4 girls were taken from years 3, 4, 5, & 6.

Science club was open to anyone willing to pay.

Cookery club. Numbers were limited and DC got a go on a rota. Strongly suspect it was a bit like tennis.....some never got a go.

French was again open to anyone willing to pay.

There were other clubs at various times. If they were run by parents or teachers they were free.

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 11-Dec-12 14:51:00

Are they Enrichment groups? (G&T provision), or the School Premium provision for children on FSM ? (not that I agree with making those invitation specific).

In a small school sometimes they find it hard to run activities that aren't part of what a school HAS to do.

NatashaBee Tue 11-Dec-12 14:44:00

I wonder if parents are using it as free childcare after school? so a child with no interest in chess has to go to the chess club because his parents don't want to pay for a childminder, for example. Have you asked what your child needs to do to be invited? It may be as simple as just talking to the teacher.

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 14:43:29

no, it really is invitation only.

can see what you're saying theas about the teachers volunteering to do these clubs etc. i just find it a bit weird that letters get sent out to every parent with the list of clubs available, when such a big proportion of them are invitation only.

the letter may as well have said 'here's a list of clubs that you're kids can't do because they're not invited, but you can have a look at the list anyway'

DeWe Tue 11-Dec-12 14:40:04

Are they really "invitation only" or is that just meaning you need to check with the teacher before just turning up?

At dd2's school there are a few that are down as "invitation only" but in reality they have criteria or they just mean that you can't assume you can go, you need to apply.
For example, the choir is audition, the "orchestra" will only take a certain number of some instruments but will try and accommodate anyone who wants to if possible, another has a limit of 25 in the club, and operates a waiting list (so you go on the waiting list) another takes all children coming, but if it's over numbers they they go onto fortnightly, so they only do every other. They like to get final numbers for that by a certain point, so they can let parents know.

lljkk Netherlands Tue 11-Dec-12 10:13:30

Officially we don't have that, but unofficially we do for some clubs. Like DSyr4 has tried for years to get into a craft club and the unofficial word is that they always choose the oldest girls first until all spaces filled. sad

Theas18 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:55:15

Primary ?

We had a mix of hand picked team training (AKA the heads favourites) and soccer skills for all type stuff (30 places first come first served). Music - orchestra/choir was always hand picked.

I think there are more " clubs" now than there was when mine were primary age too. Some may seem " hand picked" but could be small numbers and ritated ie you did lego club last term give someone else a go.

Ask the school. But remember these are run by teachers out of hours on a voluntary basis. If I was a teacher (I'm not) and I was harangued about why little johnny wasn't picked for a team/club too often I'd chuck it in!

(and of course not applicable to OP but I'd also, if I was a teacher , see an after school club as a treat that has to be earned- if your child can't behave in class I don't want them in my lego club for and extra hour where they wont behave either! )

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 09:36:55

since my dc's started there, the school has become more and more competitive. the sports are invitation only so the teachers running each club can hand pick their team and enter (and win!) all the tournaments in the area.

but this is primary school, we're talking yr 3 to yr 6. what happened to doing it just for fun??

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 11-Dec-12 02:37:26

Have you asked the school why they are doing something so bizarre?
Are they attempting to use it as an enrichment focus, so that they are only taking children who show an aptitude for the skills that the club develop?
Who is being invited?
School council are usually voted in by their peers, but the rest should have no reason to be invite only.

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 00:32:54

no, not social programs. all of the sport ones are invitation only, also school council and eco council

now art is invitation only too

there's really not much left to choose from

these clubs used to be there for kids to have a go at things they wouldn't normally try

Himalaya Tue 11-Dec-12 00:25:46

Are they elitest, or are they social programs? In DS's primary they have some clubs and outings that are invitation only - and they tend to target kids whose parents don't take them out much.

nipersvest Mon 10-Dec-12 23:55:12

makes me a bit sad that something originally aimed and being inclusive has become so exclusive, (and slightly elitist too)

is this the norm? what do other schools do? (am talking primary)

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