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Private companies running classes in state schools, DD can't go because we are poor, AIBU to complain??

(749 Posts)
PollyPeppa Thu 15-Sep-11 10:26:55

We are below the poverty line as we have 3 DC's and DH and I are full time uni students. We worked in low paid jobs and decided enough was enough and are now hoping to get better ones after university.

DD's school had just started up after school Spanish club. We sent her along to the trial session and she loved it. We had foolishly assumed there would be a concessionary rate (as there usually is with after school clubs) but there is not as it is run by a private company so we can't afford for her to go again.

I feel this is very unfair to offer this as only children whose parents can afford to send them can go, I think it creates a divide in the 'state' system.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Thu 15-Sep-11 10:29:28

YABU - I am sure there are other kids who cant go either and as it is after school then why should it be cheaper for you......the private company obv have to pay the school for use of the premises so they have costs to meet.

same for any other after school activity really isnt it.....just coz you would like your DD to go it doesnt mean she is entitled to it.

PollyPeppa Thu 15-Sep-11 10:31:10

So only the children with parents who have money should be 'entitled' to go... Nice

Malcontentinthemiddle Thu 15-Sep-11 10:31:21

YABU, it's an after school activity that happens on-site, so I'd expect to pay. But you're not unreasonable to wish you could afford it - that's understandable! However, if it's not during the school day, I can't see how it could be objected to, really.

slavetofilofax Thu 15-Sep-11 10:32:27

YABU, other children should not have to miss out on something just because some can't.

As long as the school offers other classes after school that are free and cheap, I can't see the problem.

My ds's school offers French, judo, dance, drama, computer club, all run by private companies, and I very much doubt anyone would be able to afford them all, so there are always going to be times when you have to say no. But they also do free netball, gardening, football, quiz club, chess club, all free, so there is something for everyone.

Fayrazzled Thu 15-Sep-11 10:32:29

I do think you've got a point actually. It seems there are more and more private companies offering after school activities on the school premises. I know some parents like them because they basically provide cheap after school care for an hour or so and the children get to learn a new skill etc. But I do think it is very hard for children whose parents can't afford for them to attend and I think it is a bit off that these activities go on on the school premises- it is divisive.

itisnearlysummer Thu 15-Sep-11 10:32:30

Yes it does. Unfortunately, the school can't afford to subsidise these extras and the private company is a business and not a charity and the people who have set this up have done so as their income and livelihood.

It's shit but there you go.

My DD's school have sent 12 letters home since the start of term for paid extra curricular activities. We can't afford for DD to do any of them atm. Even the ones run staff have charges attached!

cookcleanerchaufferetc Thu 15-Sep-11 10:32:55

Sorry but I think you are being unreasonable. It is your decision to go to uni now and so if you cant afford this club then that is down to you. There can't always be concessions for everyone as that puts up the price for others, which is not fair.

My children have come home with details of after school clubs and they simply cant do them all as we cant afford it .... but we are not poor, just prioritising our money. Some are free but four of them would costs over £159 a term .... so they arent doing them all. Simple as that. No need to over anaylse it.

utah Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:08

But life is unfair I pay a fortune in after school clubs because as a family we have saved and work hard the idea being that we made sure that we were in a position to afford children before having them. They should have let you know before the taster.

Pootles2010 Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:15

It's not mainstream education, so no you're not 'entitled' to go.

slavetofilofax Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:17

So only the children with parents who have money should be 'entitled' to go

Yes, same as everything else that happens out of school hours. Like holidays, owning an x box, going to theme parks etc.

mumblechum1 Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:38

YABU. They are running a business.

I've always had to pick and choose what I could afford to send ds to, that's just life I'm afraid.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:46

It's not an entitlement though is it...if I want my son to learn Spanish and a company teach it who happen to use the school premises then I have to pay for it...if I cant afford it he cant go.

Why should I pay full price if you are gonna get it cheaper/free???

It's not a school/government run course, they have costs to meet so people have to pay. I run an aerobic class in a school hall.....should I cost it according to my participants income......of course not and why should they!

Fayrazzled Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:46

Oh and my son's school only offers one 'free' after school club for KS1 which is on a first come first served basis- they do a draw to decide which children attend. Other clubs are at a cost, so no, there aren't necessarily activities for children whose parents can't afford the paid ones.

I think if people want their children to do judo, dance, drama etc and pay for them that's fine- but they shouldn't be on the school premises.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 15-Sep-11 10:34:57

A club being held after school in school property is not part of the 'state' system - it is a private enterprise just like the yoga club and tango club that is held after school at my daughters school.

I think it sucks that you can't afford it and I think all children should have better opportunities but that is a political issue and is not related to your post.

I wish governments would realise better citizens have well rounded lives and would put money into it - if swimming were free (it's £3.60 here) then children would be healthier, depression rates would be lower and there would be a knock-on effect.

It's all short term thinking.

Malcontentinthemiddle Thu 15-Sep-11 10:36:34

It is really hard when you can't afford things, and I really do sympathise with that, but I think you have to see this differently - it's not the school which is making you pay for lessons, it's that the Spanish Club people have booked a room at the school, and it costs money to go to it. Unfortunately it is just what it's like when they start school, as well - trips and donations and so on just keep on coming.

PollyPeppa Thu 15-Sep-11 10:36:57

I can understand that she can't go to everything but I think it is unfair to offer it through school, that is my point.

crazynanna Thu 15-Sep-11 10:37:50

Do these private companies who use school premises have to pay for the use of the school,as they would another venue? If so,do they get it cheaper?If they do,I think it would be fair to offer concessions.

auntmargaret Thu 15-Sep-11 10:38:20

Oh, I think people are being a bit hard on you. YANBU. Its a state school, private companies should not be allowed to use the premises to make a profit. End of. Good luck at uni.

slavetofilofax Thu 15-Sep-11 10:38:31

Our school encourages parents to organise free after school clubs for the children, it's parents and support staff that do the things like gardening, knitting, quiz and chess club.

Maybe you could offer to start up something like that in your dd's school?

DogsBestFriend Thu 15-Sep-11 10:39:37


Several of my friends children own ponies, have private tennis or music lessons and go on foreign holidays. Some also attend state schools, some have a paid-for education.

My children have none of these things... and? Will they die for want of them? Will they suffer motional trauma because, shock, horror, some families are more affluent than others and for some the divide is huge?

Of course not!

slavetofilofax Thu 15-Sep-11 10:40:04

Also, the school probably makes money for it's general pot from hiring out the rooms for these private things, so it does benefit the school, as well as the children who are able to access them.

Journey Thu 15-Sep-11 10:41:16

YABU. You can't expect concessionary rates for everything going on at the school. You've chosen to become students. That is your choice.

There will be kids with parents who are both working who still couldn't afford to pay for the Spanish club.

I hate this attitude of just expecting to get everything handed on a plate because you're on a low income.

ExpensivePants Thu 15-Sep-11 10:42:38

I don't think YABU actually. I take the point about extra activities costing etc but presumably this is being marketed at school, on school noticeboards, letters to parents whatever, using the school and takes place right after school. So it's not unreasonable for the kids to think this is something they're going to be able to do. If it's an entirely separate enterprise then it needs to be kept separate.

Shabbybutchic Thu 15-Sep-11 10:43:42

I agree with Journey

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