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Extended school provision

(6 Posts)
drcrab Thu 27-Sep-12 20:05:26

I hope someone here can help.

My son has recently started year R at an ofsted 'good' school. We are v happy with the
progress etc and he's v happy there. So we are happy.

The issue is afterschool care or the lack of it. The school has a waiting list to get onto the afterschool club which runs till 6pm. Parents before us have campaigned for the last year to get the school to consider extending it so that more kids can have after school provision so that their parents who work full time can continue to work full time. They have said they are considering an extra 16 spaces. But there are more on the list.

Anyway the governors have had a meeting and essentially they have said no not interested in doing more for parents.

Many of us who need it think it's ridiculous esp since the school down the road can provide for 100 kids and it's so flexible (you can tell them on the day whether you need it or not). Many parents who end up at my school are
here as their second choice as they couldn't get in to the one with afterschool care (distance between the two is something like 1.5 miles so lots of people were caught in between). The catchment for other school has shrunk since people have realized about the lack of afterschool at ours.

Anyway I'm writing here to ask for advice for the next steps. Is there a gov rule about afterschool provision? The parents have offered to help administer any clubs or run surveys to gauge demand etc but school have literally just said 'nah'.

It's ridiculous when you hear of parents trying to juggle full time jobs, sharing drop off and pick ups with parents they don't necessarily know for well etc. also for the kids to be confused as to whether is it today daddy drops me off or Joel's aunty? Etcetc

I know school is not childcare. I do not expect school or their teachers to stay back to look after my kids. I do expect though that schools work together with willing parents to find a solution to this 21st century modern family issue.


admission Thu 27-Sep-12 22:58:21

The school has to signpost to parents where after school provision can be obtained, which does not mean they have to provide it, just be able to say try x.y or z.
So I am afraid that if the school is unable or unwilling to expand the current provision then there is no way that you can force them to do something. The only way is a mass exit to another school but your post suggests that is not possible

drcrab Fri 28-Sep-12 12:36:55

Thank you for the reply. I thought as much. I'm lucky in that my work and my husband's is quite flexible but that does mean that we have to work on weekends or evenings to catch up on deadlines. sad
Thanks again.

grendel Fri 28-Sep-12 12:47:46

Any chance you can contact the club at the school down the road and ask if they would consider collecting the 'surplus' children from your school? If there were sufficient children wanting places, the other club might find it worth their while to transport the children.

Have you found out why your school won't expand the setting? It could well be a staffing issue as after school clubs need to be Ofsted registered and need to follow strict regulations about staff numbers and qualifications. If they can't get the extra staff, they can't take extra children.

tiggytape Fri 28-Sep-12 13:21:43

No the school do not have to provide more than they do and in fact already provide a lot more than many schools do (if you ask about childcare at our school you get a list of registered childminders none of whom have places. There is no breakfast or after school club at all)

It is frustrating but you can explore other options. As grendel says, some companies will collect children from school and take them to an off-site setting to be cared for. A school near us must use this service as I see them all walking along in a line wearing special yellow jackets after school time.

Hairytoe Fri 28-Sep-12 14:21:43

We don't have an after school club at our school. I'm a governor and we spent quite a bit of time looking into setting one up but we were told the governing body would have to run any after school provision directly, not through the school. It would have meant us as a group of volunteers essentially running the childcare provision and being directly responsible for hiring and management of staff, insurance, health and safety, Ofsted inspections etc. As a group we weren't able to manage that level of involvement, unfortunately.

Maybe in your case they have managed to set up a small scale operation but are wary of the extra work involved in extending it. Or maybe the facilities they have available ( ie the room where it is held) are not big enough to take more children and there is no other suitable space.

Could you find out what their objections to extending the after school club are?

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