Fury as school's care clubs scrapped

By Tom Sharpe | 21/05/2010 0 comments

Fury as school's care clubs scrapped

OUTRAGED working parents were told to taxi their children to an after-school club in a neighbouring village after the youngsters’ own club was scrapped with just a weekend’s notice.

Parents of up to 50 children as young as three faced taking them on a three-mile trip from Treeton Church of England Primary School to neighbouring Aston every day after the breakfast and after-school clubs were ended last Friday.

The decision forced furious parents to take time off work to collect their children from school and left others calling on relatives to come from outside the area to pick up stranded youngsters.

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But the situation appeared to have been temporarily resolved after the borough council stepped in and struck a deal that will keep the clubs going until at least the end of the year.

One infuriated mum said after being told of the impending closure last Friday: “The school clearly isn’t looking out for the interests or welfare of its pupils and that is a terrible state of affairs.

“We received letters from the school at 3pm on Friday stating that the before and after-school clubs would be stopped as of Monday. It left dozens of parents in a terrible position.”

Another angry parent added: “This is a vital resource for working parents.

“When we asked what we were meant to do when our children walked out of school and we were supposed to still be at work we were told that the children could be transferred by taxi to an after-school club in Aston.

“In an age where everyone has to be CRB checked and children are taught not to trust strangers they are suggesting that they get a taxi to a neighbouring village. It’s unbelievable.”

The Treeton school’s decision came less than a month after it received a damning Ofsted report

Inspectors from the school standards body graded the school as “unsatisfactory” and gave it notice to improve after failing to properly record checks done to protect its pupils.

Ofsted said that a central log of safeguarding measures—including Criminal Records Bureau information about staff—was needed.

The decision to scrap the clubs was made days after school officials informed Hopscotch Nurseries, who operate the service on a non-profit basis, of a rise in room hire prices.

A spokesman for Hopscotch said: “We wrote to parents asking for fund-raising ideas to help us keep the clubs afloat but just four days later we were told that the clubs would not be continuing.”
After Rotherham Borough Council stepped in to ease tensions this week, an

agreement was reached between the school and Hopscotch Nurseries, although details have not yet been released.

A council spokesman said: “We had contact with the school and parents and after a meeting on Wednesday night a deal was struck that would ensure the clubs would continue operating until the end of the year.”

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