After School Clubs

After-School-ClubsQuestion: According to a recent study, what can help improve student’s performance and social skills?

Answer: After school clubs and sports.

Recently, a study into primary schools, has shown that performance and social skills of disadvantaged students can be improved by them attending after school clubs. The study also showed that the students who took part in after school clubs, produced better results at the age of 11, than those who did not.

More than 6,400 children were analysed by NatCen Social Research, Newcastle University and ASK Research, all of which have been taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study, which has been studying children born since 2000/2001.

They defined disadvantaged children as those whose family income was below the poverty line, which is below 60% of the average household income.

The report says “Compared with disadvantaged children who did not attend after school clubs at the age of 11, those who did made significantly more progress than originally predicted.”

Despite the results of the study, the impact of out-of-school activities such as sports clubs, private tuition or music lessons, inequalities persisted. These inequalities are said to happen because of costs to attend the out-of-school activities. The study says “For children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who have lower take-up of formal out-of-school activities, school-based clubs offer an accessible, lower cost route for learning experiences outside of the school curriculum with potential benefits for social as well as academic development.”

Lead author of the report, Dr Emily Tanner said “For children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who have lower take-up of formal out-of-school activities, school-based clubs appear to offer an affordable and inclusive means of supporting academic attainment.”

A Department of Education spokesman said the report vindicated the government’s “significant investment in the area.”

So, now you know the value of after school clubs, what other questions do you have? What about the National Curriculum or school league tables? You’ll find all the information you need on these and other topics in our Knowledge Bank. We have dozens of articles which aim to offer useful advice and essential facts about all aspects of schooling and parenting. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to know, but never got round to asking, you may well find the answers you’re looking for.

If, as seems clear, after school clubs and activities helps students, whether they’re classed as disadvantaged or not, I feel the government should definitely help schools and parents get their children to them.

Let us know what you think. Do your children attend any after school clubs?

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