Parents anger at after-school club axe

Hilderthorpe Primary School'Scene Setter'PA0946-6
Hilderthorpe Primary School'Scene Setter'PA0946-6

PARENTS have expressed their anger and disbelief after a popular after-school club in the town was axed.

The service was available for children at Hilderthorpe Primary School, allowing parents who worked late the opportunity to pick their children up later in the evening, up to 6pm.

Acting head teacher at Hilderthorpe, Amanda Barnett, said that the school had taken the decision to close the club from December 31 because of “financial constraints”.

But some families with pupils at the school have said they will struggle financially because of the club’s closure - or even remove their kids completely - and are upset at what they see as a lack of consultation.

Anne-Marie Platts, 31, a sales assistant at Farmfoods, sends her daughter, Demi-Leigh, to the club.

She said: “I am a single parent, it is going to be trouble. My mum does help me out quite a bit but she is actually ill herself and I can’t really rely on her.

“What I try and do is put her in twice a week to give my mum a break. I will have to reduce my hours at work which will obviously have an impact on my finances.”

Another parent sends her 6-year-old son to the after-school club around three times a week, and said she would now think twice about sending her 3-year-old daughter to the school and would consider switching schools.

“I work and I don’t know what else I can do. I will have to cut my hours at work, which will obviously hit me hard financially, or I will have to find other childcare. Who knows how much that will cost,” said the mother-of-two.

“I think it’s disgusting that there has been no consultation with any parents. We just got a letter saying it is closing, and that’s it.”

One grandmother of a 10-year-old boy at Hilderthorpe School - who wishes to remain anonymous - said she was “gutted” at the news that the after school club is to close, as it has been a “God send” for her.

She picks up her grandson when she finishes work, and also utilises the club when it is open during school holidays.

She said: “I’m gutted. I have been using the club for about two years. The school has decided to pull the plug. There are a lot of parents who use it.

“It was put infront of the board of governors and apparently there were only one or two who were against it.”

Amanda Barnett, acting head teacher at Hilderthorpe Primary School, said: “It is with regret that we have had to make the decision to close the out of school club on 31, December.

“It was a difficult decision to make but after discussions with the governors it was decided that, due to financial constraints, the out of school club would have to close.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported the out of school club.”

Anyone who needs help in finding alternative childcare provision should contact the Families Information Service Hub (FISH) on (01482) 396469, email or visit the website at