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first come first served for after school club.

(35 Posts)
mumnosGOLDisbest Mon 17-Sep-12 20:43:39

There are only a few places for some of the after school clubs and they've been allocated on a first come first served basis. This seems really unfair. DS took his slip back the next day and was chosen butsome friends were absent, have useless parents, have younger siblings so arrive in class last, go to breakfast club and arrive later etc. It seems an unfair way to select children. I'm also a bit worried when it comes to school selecting pipils for music lessons. That too is first come and the teacher selects the instrument. I really want DS to play an instrument, guitar would be good (me and my df play).

I know not everyone can be involved but thre must be a fairer way!

cansu Mon 17-Sep-12 20:47:03

The only other way would be to wait for everyone to return their slips and then draw them out of a hat. Would you be happy with this of you had returned your slip the next day and others had only done so a week later? I think not.

CitrusyOne Mon 17-Sep-12 20:48:37

I'm sure school would appreciate your input if you can come up with a better system?

iklboo Mon 17-Sep-12 20:48:53

The only after school option for DS this year is football. He hates football.

snowball3 Mon 17-Sep-12 20:49:51

Perhaps you could offer to run an alternative?

cloudymeatballs Mon 17-Sep-12 20:59:02

Think yourself lucky you had a letter, I only heard about ds's after school clubs when the other parents were telling their children not to forget they had one shock

mumnosGOLDisbest Mon 17-Sep-12 21:05:57

I already run an afterschool club (when not on mat leave). I take all names and draw out of a hat really a box i save the other names for when kids drop out. That seems fairer to me as everyone has a chance and theres no desperate children and pushy mums rushing to be first iin line!

SunflowersSmile Tue 18-Sep-12 10:17:33

Our school takes in slips and it is discussed by teachers/ Head who will be in clubs and who on reserve list. Not first come first served.

bowerbird Tue 18-Sep-12 10:31:57

You are right it's an unfair system. Choosing names out of a hat or some kind of random system would be much fairer. Please suggest this.

Also, as someone very involved in music education, I'd be VERY concerned about a teacher choosing an instrument for a student. Really, this isn't on. The choice of instrument should be led by the child.

meditrina Tue 18-Sep-12 10:40:19

I think lottery is generally the better option for oversubscribed clubs/trips, with equal chance to all who get slips in by the deadline. Else the children who miss out are always those who have chaotic home lives, and I think that's wrong.

For after school clubs though, I'm not totally sure. Some need these because of work patterns etc and the parents need to know early on if they have secured a place or need to make other arrangements. So some sort of prioritisation might be called for (still not first come first served, though).

maillotjaune Tue 18-Sep-12 10:47:29

Agree that ballot is fairer and I say that as someone who has become so worried about my kids not getting into clubs that I am usually the first to get replies back.

That's because I don't drive and have a pre-schooler too so if the older DSs did after school stuff outside school i would struggle.

I do think a ballot would need to be combined with a review by staff to make sure little Johnny didn't miss out entirely while Sammy got picked for 5 clubs in a week.

PastSellByDate Tue 18-Sep-12 12:14:24

Hi MumsnoGOLDisbest

Actually I think there is no fair way, especially when siblings are involved. What happens in your hat lottery system when one sibling is in your club and the other isn't. I'm sure that mother or father would say your system isn't fair on the child left out.

First come first serve ensures places are filled up and what I've found over the years is that I've learned to be very prompt to return those forms & fees, which of course the school appreciates.

So if you miss out, assure them you'll try again next year and make a point to get that form filled in and back to the school. DD2 missed out on choir and violin in Y1. She was devastated. But the teachers realised she was really interested in music, always tried super hard when they had some form of music instruction in class and when we put in our slips expressing interest in choir and violin in Y2 she was accepted to violin at start of school year and choir after Christmas, when a few of the older children had dropped out. I think because she had to wait for both she really values them and both her choir mistress and her violin teacher comment on how hard she works during lessons.

Personally what isn't fair is when a club has run for 2 years and suddenly just disappears with no sign of replacing it. 45 children did a before school sports-related club and adored it. It's just been stopped without any explanation or attempt to replace it. Of course I'm sure there's absolutely no link with the rapid increase in before/ after school clubs prior to Ofsted and the fact that they've been virtually halved post-Ofsted, with teacher-run clubs reduced from 5 to 2. And yes, I'm one of the Mum's that loves before school clubs because it means I'm in to work on-time with a bit of time to get myself organised before my day gets too busy.

MWB22 Tue 18-Sep-12 15:42:42

"Personally what isn't fair is when a club has run for 2 years and suddenly just disappears with no sign of replacing it." I query this statement.

Surely any club is an additional bonus in a state school, not a right? Is the club you are concerned about run voluntarily by teachers in their own time? If so, surely the expectation that they have to always run one is unfair.

mumnosGOLDisbest Wed 19-Sep-12 01:10:39

I always return slips straight away so dcs do get picked. I then feel guilty and feel eyes burning holes in me from the other parents especially as I work at the school nothing to do with preferential treatment i just read letters that are sent home
Sadly i think a lot of these clubs will be disbanded as teachers are being urged by unions to work to rule and not work extra hrs, in order to avoid strikes.

MyCatHasStaff Wed 19-Sep-12 01:18:42

I run a relatively popular after school club. In an effort to be fair, I put names in a hat, draw out as many as I can take, and give all the others a guaranteed place for the next half term. As soon as any places become available I offer them again. And still some parents said it wasn't fair. You can't win.

mumnosGOLDisbest Wed 19-Sep-12 01:43:17

I think that's the fairest way but you can't please everyone. I spoke to the teacher and she said it encourages children to be responsible. I disagree as children can't be responsible for their parents and factors out of their control.

Goofus Wed 19-Sep-12 14:52:50

At my DDs school they set a date by which the forms must be returned and then pick from a hat.
If your child doesn't get picked the first time, they will be able to do the club in the following term. So it isn't an all year round thing but it means all children have a chance of taking part in the activity.

PastSellByDate Wed 19-Sep-12 16:20:46

Hi MWB22

I agree schools aren't obliged to offer clubs - but if someone just wants to use their facilities for the club (and I presume the school is paid for use of their hall or library for the language club) I can't see why that wouldn't continue.

A sports club, a language club and a music club have all been dropped from the 'routine' at our school. The children adored these clubs. Many of us had conversations with the coaches/ teachers about see you next year, etc... at the end of last school year, so our expectations was they'd continue. Some even asked about forms at the end of the year and were told by the school they were sorting out dates.

Club days are now Tues - Thursday with Fridays and Mondays absolutely clear morning & afternoon. A friend popped back last Friday because her DD forgot to bring home wellies she needed for the weekend and said the school was locked tight at 4:30 p.m., which I can assure you was never the case last year.

If you can think of an explanation I'm just not considering or aware of please feel free to tell me this is all quite normal. From my perspective there have been clubs on Mondays and Fridays for 5 years and regular morning clubs - now only choir (lead by a teacher) happens in the mornings. It seems very odd to me.

mum4041 Wed 19-Sep-12 18:54:24

Ours is first come, first served but what they usually do is have a reserve list and offer the ones who didn't get in a chance next term.

mumnosGOLDisbest Fri 21-Sep-12 01:21:06

pastsellby who ran the clubs? If it was teachers they might be working to rule as advised by unions. No additional responsibilities or hours.

omfgkillmenow Fri 21-Sep-12 01:43:43

when you say out of school clubs, do you just mean for hobbies and things (free) , or out of school care which has to be paid for?

SunflowersSmile Fri 21-Sep-12 01:57:10

Seems our school one of only ones not first come first served. [Do need to get slips in on time though].
Always loads of whinges mind you- not perfect system by any means.

mumnosGOLDisbest Fri 21-Sep-12 11:30:48

I'm talking about free/hobby clubs.

MrsJohnDeere Fri 21-Sep-12 16:32:48

This is the way out school does it and it seems to work fine. Only one club is over-subscribed.

Whatiswitnit Sat 22-Sep-12 16:08:56

Our school was issuing club places on a first come first served basis until many parents complained about its unfairness.

Now it's done randomly - names drawn from a hat - instead. It makes it a little fairer, however there are still some children that get picked every term and others that never do. I think there should be a system where if you've expressed an interest in a club but haven't been picked you immediately get put on the list for the next term. Or - if you've done club for two terms in a row you cannot put your name in again for a term to give others a chance.

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