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Restarting my Code Club

Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:12 pm

Hi everyone. I've had a frustrating experience with trying to run a Code Club at my local primary and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for what to do next.

The sticking point has been that the school won't offer the club for free. Their argument is that they have costs to cover (electricity, staff, etc.) and as such need to charge pupils. I do understand their point, especially as all schools struggle financially these days. They also charge for all of their other clubs as most schools do.

However the rules of Code Club explicitly state the club must be offered free to children, which I totally support. The one thing I've never understood is why thousands of other schools can do this for free and yet my local school can't.

In the end I ran the club at lunchtimes as the school didn't need to charge for it then. However it didn't work as well due to the time constraints and lack of a dedicated space to host in.

The club is dormant at the moment and I would like to revisit this, but do it properly as an after school club where it has the time and space to flourish. If I can't get the school to relent over the charge, the only things I can think of are to either get some sponsorship to cover it (possibly from my employer) or to just run the club somewhere else, which I'm not keen on.

Yours in frustration!


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Re: Restarting my Code Club

Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:19 pm

Hey Ross, we'd love to chat to you some more and see if we can help with this.

Can you drop me a line at to kick things off?

Looking forward to hearing from you

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Code Club UK
Katharine Childs
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Re: Restarting my Code Club

Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:12 pm

Wow! I can see how frustrating that must be for you, and how short-sighted of the school.

The 'cost' excuse sounds a little flimsy to me.

The cost of electricity is going to be insignificant compared with the standard school usage, and I don't understand the need for a staff cost at all. Teachers generally don't get paid overtime, and that's if you even have or need one in your Codeclub (I don't have any school staff in my club). Surely there would still be staff around at that time of day so I can't see where any extra cost would be.

I am assuming, of course, that the club would be attended solely by children who go to that school?

Do they understand the benefits that Codeclub brings to the school? Computing is something that a lot of schools don't have the time, training, or resources to spend a lot of time on, and while Codeclub should never be considered as a replacement for a proper Computing curriculum, having a number of children in class that have been through Codeclub is a huge benefit for the teacher.

Personally, if I didn't have any ties to the school, I would walk away and offer my services elsewhere. I can guarantee there are plenty of schools that would just love to have you.

Just out of interest, is this school LA, Academy, or Free School?

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Re: Restarting my Code Club

Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:34 pm

That does sound stupid. The code club which I've been running for the last three years is based in a Library. Ok, it is during normal opening hours, but is free as it should be. Some staff from other departments of the council are allowed to do a few hours a month for volunteer work. I'm an unpaid volunteer although I can claim a small amount for travel expenses. Total running cost works out at a few pounds a week.

It would be nice if the computers we use were upgraded, they are a bit slow and currently half of them are so behind on Windows updates that they won't work with the current Scratch website. That is being looked at.
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Re: Restarting my Code Club

Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:09 pm

Have you tried having a chat with the school governors?
Always worth having a word with.

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