School cuts clubs losing £20,000 per year

  • Money could be used to hire more teachers, says head
  • Parents worried about increase in childcare costs

A school has axed its out of hours care for children because it was losing around £20,000 per year.

Greenway Academy will close its breakfast club, after-school club and all holiday clubs at the end of term.

Headteacher Karen White said the money released would ‘enable the school to employ further teachers to continue with its programme to reduce class sizes’.

Her announcement was not welcomed by some parents who will have to find extra cash to pay for private childcare.

Lee Rendell, whose 10-year-old son attends Greenway, said the closure could see his childcare costs rise from £30 a week to more than £90 per week.

He added: “We’ll be affected by the changes for only one term but it will cause us a great deal of upheaval and at present the most likely scenario is that one of us is forced to cut our hours, which we can ill afford to do.”

Mr Rendell asked whether the closure had been timed to coincide with the opening of private provision at the independent nursery which shares Greenway’s grounds.

Ms White said this was not the case, adding the Greenway clubs would have closed regardless of the nursery’s expansion.

In its last inspection, Ofsted described Greenway’s childcare provision as ‘well run and well managed’ but Ms White said governors found it did not meet the needs of the children.

She said to deliver the service ‘appropriately’, the cost would have become ‘prohibitive to parents’, especially as so few children attended and not all did so regularly.

Describing the loss of £20k per year as an ‘inappropriate use of finances and clearly detrimental to teaching and learning in school’, Ms White added: “I am sure that many parents would be very disappointed to know that funds made available for teaching their children were being used in this way for a small number of parents.”

As for the employment of more teachers and Greenway’s ambition for smaller class sizes, Ms White said class sizes in Year 4 had already been reduced to 23 or 24 children.

She added: “The positive outcome of this decision in December can already been seen for pupils in Year 4 and parents were delighted with the additional teacher time their children are now receiving in class every day.

“The governors wish to continue small pupil number provision, achieving this for Years 3, 4 and Year 5 pupils in September.”

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