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Please can some tell me whether this system of allotting school club places is inclusive?

(16 Posts)
ExsqueezeMe Thu 06-Nov-14 21:37:56

DD's primary school runs school clubs, some are after school and some are in school time. There's loads of different ones; sport, music, dance, writing, art etc. so something for everyone. They're usually free but places are limited. Children are rewarded for the number of after school activities they attend at the end of term, this is to encourage them to get involved.

They allot the places by asking the children to put their hand up if they'd like to go, then a letter then goes home to parents to sign the slip, then slips are picked out of a hat. Sounds pretty fair doesn't it.

However some children never put their hand up for anything. Some children lack confidence, some don't understand what the club entails, some (like my DD) are wary of new things. There are are children with ASD and other special needs who may be less likely to put their hand up for all sorts of reasons. And remember this is a primary school so many of the children are only very young.

So these children never get to go to any clubs. I'm pretty sure if they were encouraged and supported to go, by parents or teachers, they would enjoy it and get something from it, even if it's just the confidence to try new things.

My DD secretly wants to go to a writing club but didn't put her hand up <sigh> She's never been to any of the clubs.

Or maybe only children who want to go and actually volunteer themselves should get to go....

What do you think?

TalkinPeace Thu 06-Nov-14 21:42:22

letters should go home to ALL children at Primary
with the onus on PARENTS to get the kids in
with a limit so that the sharp elbowed do not snag all the places

ideally every child should be secured a place in at least one activity

6860 Thu 06-Nov-14 22:15:02

We get a letter detailing all clubs. Discuss choices with DDs (encourage/bribe, particularly with not joinerinner DD1), send the form back to school and then they use a hat to pick out oversubscribed ones. Seems fair and at least parents play a role at home.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 06-Nov-14 22:17:03

I agree, letters should be sent home to all children. first to reply is normally how places are allocated round here I think but that is harsh if someone is off ill that day and doesn't get the letter etc.

Muchtoomuchtodo Thu 06-Nov-14 22:20:10

In our school, all eligible children (those in the right year groups) get letters home.

If the dc want to go, the form has to be returned by a certain date. If there are limited numbers, this is made clear in the letter and those who have returned their forms by the cut off date go into a hat.

Seems to work well and is fair. First to return their forms penalises some.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 06-Nov-14 22:32:43

that sounds a good way muchtoomuchtodo.

BackforGood Thu 06-Nov-14 22:44:30

I can understand the way the school are doing it thoug. Where my dc used to go, the were 3 classes in each year - thats a lot of letters going out when there's a limit on numbers. They would sometimes say something in assembly and say, "If you're intested come to Mr so-and-so's room at play time for a letter. It meant that only those who were motivated enough / intested enough needed the information. If a child had recognised SEN that might mean they wouldnt have taken it in, in assembly or wouldnt be able to organise themselves to go, then the class teachers would remind them, or, a TA would take them. Made sense to me.

Muchtoomuchtodo Thu 06-Nov-14 22:50:12

Ours is a one form entry school. Yes, I can see our system might not work for bigger schools.

Sameshitdifferentusername Thu 06-Nov-14 22:58:03

I still think in bigger schools all children should get letters though.

Even if they're picking 10 names out of a hat with 90 names in, at least that's fairer than picking 10 names out of a hat with 60 names in - but those 60 names are always the same confident, organised, alert, NT children.

Because there's still 30 children who are effectively excluded from clubs.

bearwithspecs Thu 06-Nov-14 23:08:36

I think it's a totally stupid system for the reasons you state. Ours is all sent out by email and text. Lists of clubs are available in printed form at reception and on notice boards for those less IT aware. Parents decide with their DC what they want.,My dd would stick her hand up for everything !!!

mumwithanipad Thu 06-Nov-14 23:31:43

Dds school ask the children individually to choose three clubs they would like to try from highest to lowest, usually after reading to the teacher. Some clubs are more popular, I'm not sure how they select who gets to take part in the most popular ones though as we just get the consent form once they've selected who is doing what, but it often looks like the same children do the popular clubs each term, dd has been offered her last choice every time which she's been happy with so far but some kind of rotation would be fairer maybe? So like if one child has done art then maybe try another club next time?

Dds class had to vote on a choice of clubs to be offered a few weeks ago, she said the teacher made them all close their eyes before putting hands up to vote to stop children just choosing what their friends picked, I thought that was clever.

DeWee Fri 07-Nov-14 09:19:34

I don't think any way can be truly fair though.

First come first served. (tends to be the organised/knowledgeable mothers)
Names out of a hat. (can still end up with 1 dc always being picked and another never)
Teacher choice of who would benefit (claims of favourites)
Letters to parents (parents choice, and you get children in a popular club who don't want to be there but it's convenient for their parents)
Getting children to write down which they're interested in (I remember voting for something at school, and not voting the way I wanted to because I couldn't spell it).

There will always be someone deserving who misses out. I've seen all those methods and there's always someone who feels hard done by, and can put a pretty good case up, and someone who seems to unfairly benefit.

TeenAndTween Fri 07-Nov-14 09:38:06

OP . I don't think your method is good. Letters to all parents, pick those going after cut off date. Our school does this, and if over subscribed the names go into a hat (in theory, I n suspect there is occasionally some tweaking).

Our school uses the hands up method for things like plays / speaking in assembly. This means that the more confident get more practice, and the less confident don't get the opportunity to gain skills. I think this has been to the detriment of DD2 who if encouraged could do speaking in assembly, but who doesn't get the chance to try.

cansu Fri 07-Nov-14 19:18:16

It is quite easily solved. Send a note or call teacher putting your dd name down and explaining she is too shy to volunteer herself. they probably don't want to send hundreds of letters out for no reason. The vast majority of letters are lost, binned and not read. If the letters all went by email, this would of course be less of an issue.

Taffeta Fri 07-Nov-14 19:24:26

At my DCs school all children get letters. Oversubscribed clubs it's either out of a hat or places are given to children who don't already attend any other clubs.

All attending clubs are advised if they miss the club regularly then their place will be forfeited and given to a child on the waiting list. Waiting lists are kept for all oversubscribed clubs.

pyrrah Sun 09-Nov-14 19:13:32

We have letters to all parents, return form by x date, if oversubscribed then names go into hat.

Those children whose names are not drawn are first on the list for next block with extra places via hat again.

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