Guide to Establishing an After-School Club

Do you want to create a new club?

The wide range of after-school clubs reflects the varied interests of the Bruntsfield School community. Most were started at the initiative of parents, or after would-be providers approached the Parent Council. All clubs depend on the continuing involvement of parents, interest of children and availability of tutors. The Club Coordinators are thus always keen to consider proposals for new or restarting clubs.

However, setting up a club requires planning and consideration of various substantive and procedural issues. The Club Co-ordinators will do everything they can to help, but they are not able to micromanage individual clubs. Club organisers should begin the setting-up process at least a term before they hope to run the club.

Below is a general guide to the process.

Getting Started

For Bruntsfield parents interested in establishing a club: you must be willing to serve as the club organiser and take primary responsibility for all administrative tasks related to establishing the club and then running it on a termly basis. The most important task is to find a tutor qualified and willing to deliver the club. The tutor should be able to provide a draft syllabus of the club’s content, and we may request to see qualifications. If club activities are potentially hazardous, the would-be tutor will also need to provide a draft risk assessment.

For providers interested in delivering a club at Bruntsfield: the first and key step is to find a school parent who is willing to act as the club organiser. If you have no previous connection to the Bruntsfield School community, the Club Coordinators will solicit parent interest as appropriate. In some cases, it may be possible to add a new club provider as a tutor on an existing club. Please note that the Parent Council is responsible for administering and supporting all clubs delivered under its auspices, and pays self-employed tutors at a fixed rate. Would-be providers wishing to propose clubs outwith this framework should contact the Bruntsfield School head teacher directly.

Scheduling: another crucial issue is finding a time and venue for the club to meet. The Club Coordinators have a list of available room bookings, but be advised that the continuing expansion of after-school clubs means there are likely to be few available time slots at Bruntsfield School or Morningside United (MUC).

Marketing: especially for new clubs, organisers should consider surveying the potential take-up prior to the start of registrations. The Club Coordinators have an account on the JotForm survey website which can be used for this purpose. Organisers are welcome to use the Parent Council mailing list to publicise their clubs, although informal contacts with parents in the school playground may sometimes be the most effective means of marketing clubs aimed at younger children.

Registrations & Organiser Responsibilities

The main club organiser task is to run the termly registration process for their clubs’ sessions in the next term. The organiser’s responsibilities are to:

  • Allocate places in club sessions in consultation with the club tutor and within the size limits for that club session
  • Maintain waiting lists and reallocate places between sessions as required
  • Notify parents when places have been allocated and invoices must be settled
  • Provide the tutor with a register listing all children registered for each club session

Registrations outwith the termly registration process are generally at the organiser’s discretion.

Organisers have no direct involvement in club pricing. The Club Coordinators have primary responsibility for all scheduling and logistical issues as well as liaison with the School, other club venues, Kidzcare and doorkeepers.
However, the Coordinators are likely to ask organisers to become involved in issues specific to their clubs.

While most clubs run with only minimal organiser intervention most of the time, club organisers need to be able to become involved on short notice with respect to unexpected cancellation of club sessions, disciplinary issues and any other matters where direct communication with parents is required and/or where the club tutor needs Parent Council support. Organisers will be asked to provide contact details which will be passed to doorkeepers.

Session Sizes

With respect to session sizes, those containing any P2 children are restricted to 10 children per tutor (or responsible adult). Sessions containing only P3+ children may have up to 12 children per tutor. Any exceptions to these guidelines need to be agreed with the Club Coordinators in advance.

In the interest of the children’s experience and for insurance reasons, the Parent Council has agreed not to run any club sessions with fewer than three children registered. If a club session fails to attract at least three registrants, the club organiser must give the tutor notice that the session will not run in the following term.

To be financially sustainable in the long term, club sessions need at least five children registered per tutor. If a newly established club does not secure an average of at least five children in its sessions, the Parent Council is unlikely to pay the tutor the full hourly rate for tutoring.

Tutor Issues

In addition to assuring themselves that their prospective tutor is able to deliver a club which will be fun and rewarding to children, new club organisers need to consider a number of more procedural issues:

PVG Scheme: all tutors and regular parent volunteers must be members of the PVG Scheme and included in Bruntsfield’s PVG account. Organisers with new tutors should contact the Parent Council’s PVG officer about raising an application straightaway: the tutor will not be able to take club sessions until this requirement is satisfied. Applications raised by the PVG officer will be paid for by the Parent Council.

Qualifications: if the tutor has professional accreditation or qualifications to deliver a club, please provide documentation to the Club Coordinators. Such documentation is particularly important where club activities entail any significant degree of risk.

Insurance: if a tutor’s accreditation includes public liability insurance or if the tutor has other provider cover, please provide details to the Club Coordinators. Tutors without such cover will need to be included in the clubs umbrella policy.

Risk Assessment: all club activities must be risk assessed; tutors in low-risk class-room based clubs can use a standard tick-box template; those tutoring on higher-risk and/or physical activity clubs should use the appropriate professional form or the generic clubs template. Please note that the tutor, not the club organiser, should prepare the risk assessment. The assessment should focus on the risks specific to the activity in question.