Parents behind after-school clubs for disadvantaged

Education: Secondary / Tue 26th Apr 2016 pm30 03:50pm

By Eric White

PARENTS in Harlow say they are “in favour” of after-school clubs as a way of boosting the academic performance of disadvantaged young pupils.

Pupils from poorer backgrounds from across the UK who attended after-school clubs were found to achieve better results at age 11 than pupils from the same backgrounds who did not attend.

Ministers in Parliament are currently planning to use money from the sugar tax on fizzy drinks to help fund the after-school activities.

The researchers – from NatCen Social Research, Newcastle University and ASK Research – analysed information on more than 6,400 children in England as part of the study, which was funded by the Nuffield foundation.

18 out of 20 parents interviewed in Harlow said they “strongly agreed” with the findings of the report.

Mother-of-two, Sally Jacobs, 36, said “I think the clubs are a fantastic thing. Exercise is the best thing for young children.

“As a parent of an eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, I am definitely in favour of this.

“We don’t have a lot of money ourselves so I always try to get them involved in sports and healthy activities.

“I think it can definitely go a long way towards helping their grades as they feel better about themselves.”

Father-of-two, Jordan Thomas, 31, said: “I always try and get my kids to attend after-school activities, and keep them healthy.

“It’s such an important part of their development and I think the funding they are planning with the sugar tax is fantastic.”

The report also states that young children who attended after-school clubs one day per week had, on average, a 1.7 point higher actual Key Stage 2 score than predicted based on their prior attainment and circumstances.

Furthermore, those who attended after-school club two days per week had on average a three point higher actual total point score than predicted.

Gary Herne, 26, said: “I have a young daughter myself and I definitely believe that even if you don’t have much money, clubs like this can help the kids achieve success.

“After all, they are our future.”

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