I am probably being paranoid, but ds1 (age 7 y3) has been begging me all week to let him join Judo Club at school. He is small for his age (currently in age 5 clothing) and has been a bit of a target for bullies, I also feel he would probably benefit from the moral/control aspect of the sport, as well as the chance to develop his balance and coordination, so I said I would consider it.
I received some information about it today and discovered that it is being run by an external company who have provided a letter with reply slip and request for payment.
Unfortunately, the letter is not on an official letter head, there is no indication that they are members of any official bodies and while it says the coach will be British Judo Association registered and police checked, this is not something I can check without first being given their name/details. I have done a fair bit of searching online and can't find the company name on the British Judo Association website, or in fact anywhere else.
Apparently the club will be providing judo suits, so bearing in mind that the children will obviously be expected to get changed out of their uniforms and back again during the session I am concerned that I am not able to 'check-up' on the credentials of the man that I will be handing my son over to.
I would love to be able to trust the school admistration to have done their homework, but they tend to be a bit hit and miss on this sort of thing.
So two questions really:
1. Would it be reasonable of me to approach the school and ask for some more information about the club and the name of the coach who will be taking the session?
I think it's ok to ask the school about the judo providers. Presumably the school has some written communication from the company on their files. They should at least have a number you can call to find out more.
Def not being paranoid at all. We had a fella round selling karate lessons which were based in local schools. I did some research into the club and would not have been happy for dd to go to these lessons as there was a repor tin teh local paper about the company intimidating nad threatening a coach in front of a class. Was very about them and am still looking for a class for dd now.
Thank you for replying. I had a feeling no-one would reply to this one, as they would think I was just being over-protective.
As you said MissisBoot, my take on it is that it is my job to do everything I can (within reason) to keep my dcs safe. Although I do understand that I don't and can't have control over absolutely every aspect of everything they do and everywhere they go. (I would probably be much happier if I did/could though. )
I'm quite suspicious that I can't find them on the British Judo Association listing, as the BJA are currently running a programme introducing Judo to schools as an extra curricular activity. Also, we currently only have their word for it that they have been police checked, whereas all the BJA coaches have to have undergone and enhanced CRB check as well as providing references that say they are suitable to work with children.
I think if I can't find out any satisfactory info on them I will probably look for a properly registered club where either myself or dh can go along and watch the class. Ds1 won't be happy about that though, as he wants to go with the other boys from his class. [mean Mummy emoticon]