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Can I pick your brains pls re: Clubs?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Dixie1234, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. I am due to take up a first headship in September in a Primary school and have been looking at the clubs available for the children.
    It seems up until now there has been little or no expectation for teachers to run clubs; the DHT explained that increasing demands upon teachers has led to club numbers dwindling. This is not neccessarily my experience, but I am interested to gain a wider perspective - do your expect your teachers to run clubs or how do you offer/organise this provision?

  2. bnm


    No, I don't. I expect teachers to concentrate on teaching. However, if a teacher volunteers (freely and without pressure) to run a club, that's great!
    Lots of others people (TAs, governors) volunteer to run clubs and we also provide information on what's available to the children in the area.
    I think clubs are good for the children to get involved in, but not necessarily a school's responsibility to provide.
  3. In my last 2 schools all teachers took clubs.
    In my last school the HT felt it was part of the threshold job for teachers, ie doing over and above the normal teaching role and expanding the children's experiences. This meant the all teachers took a club once a week after school.
    I have also seen places where teacher did a lunchtime club for 1/2 hr, this meant they could go home/do planning, marking etc after school. Teachers who had younger children liked this approach.
    In one school the HT took a club every week for 2 terms, this showed that they felt it was important and proritised the time themselves. We have also had parents taking clubs and outside agencies.
    I would lead by example and perhaps ask SLT to take a club to start the ball rolling? Some teachers could do it in pairs, so that they don't have to do it every week? Or start by asking them to do it for 1/2 a term?
    Make sure this is one thing you want to change though - is the teaching and learning itself up to scratch - would be more important to start with.
    Good Luck.

  4. I've started at schools where no one runs clubs too. I maaged to get many going and Ofsted did comment that parents appreciated that there were mre opportunities after school than in the past so it is worth addressing. One Ofsted inspector asked me to analyse take up of clubs eg girls/boys/FSM etc. I've asked TA's to do some and charge £1 a session. I know a school where all the TA's are employed longer once a week and a 50p charge is issued daily for clubs which are guaranteed to run daily for 40 mins and the money supports salaries. I also ask Parents and some volunteer. Employing a Sports Coach can work if they can get some work in other schools too on different days nearby. There are private providers but they tend to charge too much. I ask Teaching staff regularly and some do one for one term a year. It is a shame that this isn't part of the job anymore as there are many opportunities which Teachers could provide which children won't get elsewhere. However, you also have to choose your battles. I find UPS staff the most resistant to doing anything extra beyond the classroom and have had many discussions about clubs and work life balance etc and am highly aware of the arguments from Teachers. I run a club myself and protect this time weekly as much as I can and enjoy it but my role model status isn't rubbing off much. From the children's point of view there will be no where else many will receive extra opportunities other than school.
  5. Wow! That is extensive......
    Thank you all for your ideas and advice - this is all really helpful. I think the point you make littlerussell is a very valid one.
    Everyone is different and not everyone is built to be an academic genius; yes, I believe we have a duty to ensure all children reach their academic potential, but personally, I also believe, we have a duty to help allow children to explore their talents and interests; the talents as you say that children might otherwise not know they had. From this grows confidence and self-belief. You are right - the effect is amazing.
    littlerussell - can I ask how do you budget for clubs in terms of directed time?

  6. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    We set out how the 1265 annual 'directed' hours should be spent - ie teaching, INSET, meetings. 12 hours are allocated to running clubs.
    It is up to teachers how they use this time, most choose to run 2 six week blocks over the course of the year. With 11 staff, that creates 22 clubs.
  7. mickeyforpresident

    mickeyforpresident New commenter

    The idea of using directed time to "force" clubs is really interesting!!

    In my school, I ask for volunteers, but pay for a school lunch for all those members of staff who volunteer. We also get in some outside coaches etc., but charge the children.
  8. angelface22

    angelface22 New commenter

    Why wouldn't the children get the opportunities other than being provided by school. I am a teacher and a single parent. How many parents volunteer I wonder. To me it's an extra free baby sitting service for their children. Once again, I see parents passing over responsibilities of their children's leisure time into other people's hands. ie Teachers. If my child wants to do something different, I arrange and pay the going rate for it. How many other jobs would expect their staff to do unpaid work after their working day ends. Let teachers do their job and teach and let parents do their job and parent.
  9. My understanding is that heads and deputy contracts are not subject to the limits of directed time, so how would you therefore ensure heads and deputies do clubs when it isn't easy to get them to volunteer?
  10. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    Directed time is directed time. Your head will be allocating you 1265 hours of it, and as long as it is something which requires your professional judgement (ie not cleaning the toilets) then that is part of your job.
    Personally, I would rather see some of this being used to benefit the children than to sit in yet another meeting about APP / AfL / AARA / ABC / AAAAAGH / whatever the latest bit of paperwork is.
  11. Yes but the point made earlier is about the use of directed time to make reluctant teachers do clubs. What pressure can similarly be put on reluctant heads and deputies to do clubs when they are not subject to the directed time allocation?
  12. We are all expected to do 1 club a week that lasts an hour. It is part of our directed time. In fact being "forced" to run a club has resulted in me doing less. Before hand I did at least 2 clubs a week - and enjoyed doing so. Now we have to do them, I actually do less. Having a Head who doesn't even led the odd assembly and who is usually last in and first out each day doesn't hellp.
    Ask everyone to offer a club but make sure you help out too. Remember teachers are human too with lives outside school. Our Head is new to Headship -well 3 years in and seems to asking more and more every year. We were all so willing and now resentment is building. Sometimes you can whip a willling horse too much before stubborness sets in.
    Maybe with clubs make it clear to parents that clubs stop last week in November (so teachers aren't workling late when the weather is turning - or they need to sort Christmas out for their famillies, stop Clubs middle of June at the latest when teachers are shattered, have reports to write etc).
    No one minds doing their bit but just remember what it is like to be teacher first.
  13. Maybe they are working at home - I am sure they are but sometimes we need to speak to our Head about a class matter and sometimes otherwise. Just make sure that sometimes you are available before 8.45 and after 3.30 so your staff can approach you. Breaktimes are sometimes just not the right time.
  14. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    It is the responsibility of your managers to direct you.
    In terms of a deputy, they are in effect subjected to directed time with no particular limit, so if the HT tells them to, then they will have to.
    In terms of HT, they are a teacher's manager. It is not up to a member of staff to 'put pressure' on your manager to carry out any task. I would support the 'teachers should be treated like professionals' argument when they are not being treated reasonably- but to expect a teacher to work to the contract they signed up for (ie to spend 1265 hours annually on tasks directed by the Head) is not unreasonable or treating teachers like the checkout staff at ASDA.
    The headteacher's managers are the governing body. It could be that when the HT tells the governing body about the proposed changes to clubs, an astute member might ask the head if they will be running one.
  15. Heads have directed time to squeeze clubs out of teachers. Solid. However to squeeze a club out of a head it needs an 'astute' governor. Even then it is simply, as you put it, to 'ask'. Not very solid.
    No wonder heads are quick to quote the rules in order to keep the teachers in line, but those rules are interpreted in a rather slippery manner if the head doesn't like it.
    There are many examples where the rules, for example, about religious worship, equality of cover, or PPA, even the protective aspect of directed time, are allowed to slip slide away, and in those same institutions other rules are invoked to get compliance with a headteachers particular wishes.
  16. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    I actually *agree* with you philosophical.
    I believe as you do that it is the job of management to manage and account for what goes on in their schools, rather than to just keep piling it on the teachers as 'expected'. This happens in far too many schools: the 'expectation' that staff will work unpaid running a club without any attempt to properly manage people's time is commonplace in primary.
    By putting it through the 1265 hours directed time, it moves clubs into 'paid' teacher time and therefore puts an end to the slippery practice. If the OP takes this on board then she will have to weigh up the provision of clubs instead of meetings etc and ensure that her 'vision' to create clubs is properly followed through in the way that staff time is managed. That is my definition of good management. Poor management - as you say - is to blur the boundaries and 'expect' things without properly planning for the time implications.
  17. OK, you make sense, especially the bit about clubs instead of the meetings so beloved of managers.
    Percentage wise I reckon far more 'chalkface' teachers do clubs (directed, or voluntary, or 'expected') than do heads and senior managers. I often wonder why.

  18. I wonder how many schools charge for clubs ?. My niece's school charges £7.00 a day for her to attend clubs and has employed paid staff to run them. The teachers there do not run clubs.
    My own school doesn't charge and the clubs are run by teachers. Interesting !
  19. I am a Head and my pay slip says I am employed for 1265 hours. What a laugh that is. I try to run a club but let the kids down at least every 3rd week due to other commitments of the job and I keep getting interrupted. I have thought about this directed time demand idea for clubs and think it would put backs up especially in the current political climate. Not a great move to influence positive change! Also, many teachers like to get home, sort their kids or elderly parents or whatever they do then work later. Maybe we're all too busy to do more than the days' job these days. The job of teaching is far more complex lesson by lesson also than it was 10 years' ago. The duties of Heads are definitely more complex. The duty meal idea sounds great if your meals are edible! Great to give extra opportunities but maybe the teaching day must change to allow teachers, Heads and children more breaks and less late meetings so they can offer more without collapsing. Children need relaxation time too with their friends. As clubs are important, how about a 8.30-1 teaching day, long playtime, late lunch & a club until 3 every day nationwide? This could include PPA time too. Sorted.
  20. I don't think the 1265 hours apply to headteachers.

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