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After school club

(12 Posts)
WineAndChocolateyummy Tue 04-Nov-14 15:13:59

At my daughter's old school there were plenty of school and external after school clubs. The parents had to pay for the ones that were organised by external organisations, the school ones were free. Both children started at a new school in September and school only provides free clubs. I asked this morning about a particular club that had been very popular at old school, but parents would need to pay for it. The head listened but didn't seem very keen on the idea as not all parents would be able to afford to send their children to it and there is a big onus on the "gap" between students being closed. Whilst I understand that and agree something should be done about it, why should my children not be allowed to do something because others can't afford it. Its reverse discrimination. Its all very well saying that if we want to pay for activities we can do so at the weekend. My husband works long hours and travels a lot, the weekend is time for family. Added to which, an educational after school club undertaken with your peers is a lot more fun IMO. (Previous and current schools are both in deprived areas, previous school ofsted outstanding for at least 8 years, current school Ofsted Good for 8 months)

I was wondering how others felt about after school clubs.

Ragwort Tue 04-Nov-14 15:32:25

Personally I can understand the Head's argument, it can be very devisive (sp?) to have after school clubs that some children can afford to go to and some can't.

You have the choice - if you want your children to do these activities then use some of your 'family time' - (do you all really have to be in each other's pockets all weekend hmm - I love a bit of 'down time' at weekends without having to entertain DS grin). My DS does a lot of activities that aren't catered for at school and he does them at weekends or evenings.

That's life and I am lucky that I can afford these activities.

Ragwort Tue 04-Nov-14 15:33:43

PS: Actually another good reason is that it is genuinely good for children to meet other people from different schools/walks of life that wouldn't necessarily happen if they only do activities at their own school.

noramum Tue 04-Nov-14 16:13:48

Why don't you send your children to external clubs during the week? DD attends clubs 3x a week but none at school.

WineAndChocolateyummy Tue 04-Nov-14 16:15:43

I totally get where the head is coming from and I know that it is a hard position for her to be in. But the Mummy side of me just wants there to be more choices of after school clubs available. As the school clubs are free and only run for a few weeks, it is the teachers who run them and teachers seem to have enough to do most of the time anyway.

DD and DS do external activities as well and as we live away from family and friends now, our family time at weekends is quite often taken up with visiting :-)

Oh I don't know - nothing is ever perfect is it!

Littlefish Tue 04-Nov-14 19:11:52

I absolutely applaud the Head's stance on this.

You have the opportunity and funds to pay for your children to do activities at the weekend, but you choose not to.

Other parents would have no choice at all about sending their child to an after school club which had to be paid for.

AsBrightAsAJewel Tue 04-Nov-14 20:06:04

Schools are under no obligation to provide any clubs paid or unpaid. Historically we had always only had free clubs run by staff due to concerns about discriminating against those who could not afford to pay. Parents had no say in which clubs were run as that depended on what teachers or TAs were prepared to, on how long they ran for or for most of our clubs whether there was a suitable space for them. Most staff would run a single club for a block of either 6 weeks or a term.

When parents complained there wasn't a specific club would attempt to direct them to private provider within the area. They can't really demand a specific club is run at a particular time of year (or all year as requested).

We did finally investigate certain paid clubs that staff didn't feel they had the skills to provide. As it was a huge culture shift we felt we had to get governor approval and canvas parental opinion before we decided to go ahead. They did start and the group only just has enough children to run. But it means a free teacher-led club can't run that night as the hall space is already booked. So in reality lots of other children have lost out on a free club so the very few that can afford to pay can have their club use the space.

TeenAndTween Tue 04-Nov-14 20:27:27

At DD2's primary, children on Pupil Premium can attend at least some paid-for clubs for free.

titchy Tue 04-Nov-14 21:01:31

Errrr you do sound a bit entitled. 'Why should MY children lose out....' If a particular activity is that important YOU spend the time and effort facilitating it. Why should you expect the head to?

InfantTeacher Tue 04-Nov-14 21:12:10

Sounds to me like the head is doing a really good job in providing free clubs for all. Don't forget that your DD's current school didn't just become 'good' on the day Ofsted inspected - to get a 'good' a school needs to have 3 years of good and improving data.

bearwithspecs Thu 06-Nov-14 13:29:55

At our school after school club is 5 pounds a day. The external provider clubs are also the same amount. Ie sports or music etc There are no free afterschool activities at all, although there are several things to choose from. I think they are cheap and they are well used by working parents. It is however strictly not open to those who can't afford it I guess - I had never really thought of it in that light. On that basis your HT is right.
Our school is amazing but the TAs have commented before that some parents think they are a childcare provider and not a school lol. I am not sure our teachers could take on ASC as well as everything else for no money.
You get lots for free. Think yourself lucky. I wish we did !!!

WineAndChocolateyummy Thu 06-Nov-14 15:06:06

I realise I haven't expressed myself well particularly. It was more a point me asking the head if they had ever run a particular type of educational club before and what her view of it was. As I said upthread, I do totally get where HT was coming from regarding the families who couldn't afford it. At Head request I have given the information about the club for HT to see if it meets school requirements and should there be an issue regarding funding, I will very happily get involved in fund raising to enable to school to involve all children who are interested. And, without ever looking into clubs funded by the parents who can afford it, we'll never know what arrangments can be made for those that can't. Eg, get ten paying children in and five free spaces can be made available.

As a parent who is VERY involved in whatever school my child attends, I really do like to do the best for everyone, and I wish where education was concerned, everyone truly was equal.

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