Children, Families & Schools Committee

Agenda Item 22


Subject:                    Proposal for the future delivery of After School Clubs for children and young people with a disability


Date of meeting:    11 September 2023


Report of:                 Executive Director – Families, Children & Learning


Contact Officer:      Name: Georgina Clarke-Green

                                    Tel: 01273 292257



Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.         Purpose of the report and policy context

1.1     To submit the new proposal to Committee for the running of after school clubs for children and young people with a disability in the city through the two special schools Hill Park and Downs View.


2.         Recommendations


2.1     To agree to the proposal of re-commissioning the after school clubs through the two special schools Hill Park and Downs View schools. This would be a new model of delivery and commissioned through a service level agreement (SLA) as both schools are maintained through the local authority. The SLA would be for an initial term of three years with the option to extend for a further period of up to two years, subject to good performance.


3.         Context and background information


3.1     Following on from the recent announcement that Extratime is closing its services gradually between July and October 2023, each aspect of the original contract is in the process of being reviewed. The original contract comprised of after school clubs, a holiday scheme and a youth scheme. The after school clubs are run within term time and the holiday and youth schemes operate in the school holidays. This paper focusses on the after school clubs, officers are working with parents and carers to consider alternative plans to address the gap in short breaks provision for the school holidays next year. 


3.2    Parents and carers have expressed their views about the continuation of the after school clubs through surveys sent out in the summer term by the special schools. The factors which parents felt were driving their need for this type of provision were being a single parent/carer family, having more than one child with SEND, not receiving any other respite, being working parents/ carers. They were all clear that after school clubs were needed for families to be able to work and thrive.


3.3     The after school clubs provided a short break after school for children and young people attending both Hill Park and Downs View schools, there were also two children who attended mainstream schools. These clubs were held in term time at the end of each school day[DA1] [GCG2] . Previously only a limited number of children were able to access the after school provision (20 places per week were commissioned) and there were a high number of children on the waiting list. 


Proposed model


3.4    The proposal is to continue to provide term time sessions that would be held after school but from Tuesday to Thursday (3 days per week) rather than from Monday to Friday. The sessions will be held from 3pm (or the end of school day) to 5.30pm at both Downs View and Hill Park special schools. The sessions will include activities such as dance, sports, arts, outdoor crafts.


3.5    The reason for changing the number of sessions across the week is primarily because securing the workforce over the 5 days per week is highly likely to be unsustainable in terms of the recruitment and retention of staff. In particular, staff are not keen to work on a Friday. Had Extratime continued to deliver the contract only two children were due to attend the after school sessions at Hill Park and at Downs View on a Monday and a Friday in the Autumn term. The parents/carers of these children have indicated that they would be able to accommodate the alternative days.


3.6    Play and leisure opportunities help improve the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and young people. Children and young people with SEND can be very isolated in life and after school club opportunities offer them a chance to learn through social activities. These experiences improve when around a larger number of individuals. In this proposal we are proposing that there are a minimum of 6 children each session, this is more achievable if we run the clubs over three days rather than spreading the places over 5 days which would mean smaller group numbers. It also means that we can be more efficient with staffing ratios.


3.7     In recognition that a different model is being considered, both special schools sent out a survey to the parents/carers of children and young people who attend their schools. There were a range of questions that covered the following (Appendix 1):

·      Whether parents/carers would like access to this type of provision

·      Which days they would prefer their child to attend

·      Cost of session

·      Whether they would like to access sessions with a Personal Assistant (PA)

·      What ratios of staff they feel they would need to support their child

·      Which sorts of activities they think their child would like

·      What they felt would be the fairest way to allocate places and how they would prefer we prioritise the places available


3.8    Initially, the after school clubs will be for the children and young people attending the special schools together with the two children attending mainstream schools who already had places with Extratime.  Consideration will then be given to offering children with the same profile of need based in local mainstream schools once the clubs are established.


3.9    Each special school will have a consistent admissions policy/method of allocating places that is fair, and that also reduces the time that children sit on any waiting list. Initially, all children up to the end of Year 11 who had been attending the after school club run by Extratime will be offered a place.


Table 1: Sessions per week, number of places and maximum number of children supported over the week


Downs View


Number of sessions per week

Maximum Number of places per session



39 weeks p/yr = 117 sessions a yr



This equates to 1170 places on offer each week for 39 weeks of the year.


Hill Park


Number of sessions per week

Maximum Number of places per session



39 weeks p/yr = 117 sessions a yr



This equates to 1872 places on offer for 39 weeks of the year.


          The previous contract was for 20 places per week, the new model is offering 78 places per week. Previously, the average number of children accessing each session was between 1 to 7 children, we are now expecting each session to be between 6 and 10 at Downs View and 10 to 16 at Hill Park.  


3.10  There will be a fee for each session to parents/carers which was also the case with the previous contract. We have increased the session rate by £2 as special schools do not have access to grant funding as charitable organisations such as Extratime do and which was used to supplement the programme. The new proposed fee, £14 per session, is a comparable rate to other after school clubs across Sussex. Proposed session fees will be:


·      Weekday term time session - £14

·      Weekday term time session if attending with a PA - £8


          Both parent/carer surveys asked about the uplift and 92.5% agreement with the additional £2 per session. We will work with those parents/carers who could not commit to the £2 rise to ensure that their child can still access the club.


          We have introduced a reduced rate for children who wish to attend with their PA as we believe this will encourage more individuals to consider taking up the role of PA if they have a supported activity to attend.  


3.11 Staffing Structure


          The following staffing levels across the two sites allow for the cohort that had attended the after-school clubs when the service was run by Extratime. It is also designed to meet the potential level of need that the schools’ current pupils have.





Project Lead


to enable them to plan sessions across both sites and be unallocated within each session.

Project Support Workers



This figure is based on 6 project support workers working 7.5 hours a week each (across the two sites).



To carry out admin tasks relating to the after-school club so not to impact on the current special school core teams.


3.12 It is anticipated that this new model can be operational at the beginning of October 2023. 


4.         Community engagement and consultation


4.1     Because of the speed at which we need to replace this service we have not been able to undertake extensive consultation with stakeholders. However, wherever possible we have tried to gain the views of the community and in particular those parents/carers who already use the service.


4.2    Both of the special school executive heads have invited parent/carers of children who attend their school to answer a survey on the provision of after school clubs. Downs View had 34 completed returns and 28 of those expressed an interest in their child attending an after school club. Hill Park had 52 returns and 49 of those also indicated that they would like their child to attend an after school club. Therefore, 77 families in total would like the opportunity for this extended day offer. The main headlines across the two special schools from the consultation were:


·      94% of families at Hill Park and 82% at Downs View who completed the survey said they would be or may be interested in their child attending extended day provision.

·      92.5% of those wanting their child to attend the provision said they were willing/able to pay the £14 per session

·      77% said they would be interested in, or would like to, use the club as a safe place for a PA to bring their child (this is for families who have a PA or if they had a PA they would like to use the club)

·      Most parents said they would be looking for a 1:3 or 1:1 staffing ratio to meet the needs of their child.

·      Most parents/carers would want to keep their place once they had secured it rather than an annual or termly rota system.

·      In regard to priority for placement, working parents/carers featured highly in Hill Park’s survey. Whereas there was a more or less equitable split across the other categories in the remaining Hill Park data and Downs View.


5.         Conclusion


5.1     The proposed model for after-school clubs will help to support an increased number of children and young people with disabilities at the end of their school day. The clubs will provide them with a range of activities in a safe and stimulating environment with support staff who know their individual needs and have built good relationships with them. This provision will help to support families by providing an extended day for either one or several days in the week. This will also help to support parents/carers who are working and or find it difficult to find support between the hours of 3 and 5.30pm to enable their working arrangements.  


5.2    This model also provides good value for money with a unit cost that is comparable to similar provision in other authorities.


6.         Financial implications


6.1     The gross cost of the proposed provision model across the two schools is estimated to be £140k per annum. As set out in the body of the report, it is expected that the gross cost would be offset by fee income from parents/carers and based on full occupancy, it is estimated that this would result in a net annual cost of £100k.


6.2    Assuming 100% capacity the gross unit cost would be approximately £21 per hour and the net unit cost would be approximately £15 per hour this is comparable to the cost in other local authorities for similar provision.


         Name of finance officer consulted: Steve Williams Date consulted: 15/08/23


7.         Legal implications


7.1    Due to the fact that Extratime is winding-up its charity, the normal Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) provisions do not apply and Extratime employees will not automatically transfer to the transferee (in this case either the Council or another contractor). Any subsequent dismissal by reason of the transfer will therefore not be ‘automatically unfair’.


         Name of lawyer consulted: Chris Kingham              Date consulted: 15/08/23




7.3    The award of the SLA falls outside the remit of the Public Contract Regulations 2015, both in terms of the value of the proposed opportunity falling well below the relevant threshold and due to the service being delivered by a maintained school rather than external contractor.


Name of procurement lead: Edward Barfoot       Date consulted: 29/06/23


8.         Equalities implications


8.1    An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed (Appendix 2)


9.         Sustainability implications


9.1     Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to taking responsibility for its own impact on the environment and the special schools are part of this.


9.2    Both schools will continue to demonstrate how they will achieve best practice, value for money, and innovations. This will include minimising non – recyclable waste and promoting recycling.




Appendix 1: Downs View and Hill Park results from parent/carer surveys.


Appendix 2: Equality Impact Assessment



 [DA1]Do we need a comment in here re limited number of children able to access the provision and waiting lists?

 [GCG2]I've put a comment in,.