Myself and the Governors of the Staffing and Finance committee feel that it is important that parents have some context of OOSC’s current financial position.
As many of you are probably already aware, our OOSC is a separate organisation within school with its own discrete budget. Much like a private business, it must make a profit to be sustainable. Staff salaries and resources are entirely funded by parent fees. School is not allowed to subsidise the OOSC with its own government funding.
Not all schools offer childcare outside of school hours and it is not a requirement for schools to do so. However, we recognise how much families value this service. We are incredibly proud of our club and the feedback we get from users is testament to the excellent work of the club and its staff.
This year has been particularly challenging for OOSC, as it has been for many businesses throughout the country. During the first lockdown, OOSC was forced to close entirely. Since all pupils returned to school in September, we have worked hard to keep OOSC open to support our families who depend on this service. However, during the Autumn term, average pupil numbers dropped from around 60 children per day to 30 children per day. During the Spring lockdown, numbers dropped further to an average of 11 children per day. The closure and subsequent drop in uptake has resulted in significant financial losses across the financial year.
The reason we are telling you this is to give you context for some of the decisions we have made, or may need to make in the future regarding the opening or organisation of OOSC. For example, with regards to our cancellation policies both during normal opening and during bubble closures. Every decision is made to ensure the viability and ongoing future of the club.
We all hope that COVID will not last forever and that our school and OOSC will begin to return to normal in the near future. In the meantime, we will continue to try our best to keep our OOSC open to support our families and our OOSC staff.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding during what has been and continues to be a very difficult period.