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School Clubs during lockdown:
Parent and pupil needs
Clubbly surveyed parents to find out what they need during lockdown. We just asked them some very
simple questions, and the results are startling for their clear message:
92% of parents want clubs to continue in some form during lockdown!1
We thought the devil would be in the detail, but it turns out that’s not the case. Parents were remarkably
consistent in their answers.
So which Clubs do parents want?
Parents want a very clear and short list of online clubs during lockdown: Over two thirds of parents want
art and sports clubs. dance, cookery, Lego® and STEM were the next most demanded. The rest all came
in at below 3%.
TOP 6 most asked for clubs during lockdown
But who should pay?
Parents have very reasonable answers to the question of who should pay. Many schools already provide
free clubs, and parents clearly want those to continue. In fact 18% of parents think schools should pay for
online clubs during lockdown. However, almost 50% expect to pay something, while fully 18% would pay
the usual full price.
1 56% said definitely “yes”, and 36% said “maybe” if it didn’t require too much effort
In practice, parents are saying we expect a variety of prices, generally some kind of discount, but we’re
reasonable people. Just give us some clubs!
When should online clubs take place?
76% of parents want an online club to
Preferred time of day for online clubs
take place in the afternoon, while
around 40% want to have clubs in the
morning or at midday.
We also asked parents about which
day of the week they’d prefer for their
clubs – the answers were
extraordinarily consistent across the
board: We don’t mind which day clubs
take place; in fact we’d like to take
place EVERY day of the week please!
What about having children from multiple schools in one club?
Clearly, with clubs going online, the option of running clubs with children from multiple different schools
is now a real possibility. But what do parents think?
54% said it was important that children came from the same school, while only 25% said it didn’t really
matter (22% were undecided).
However, when given the choice of “club or no club”, only 6% said they’d prefer no club to sharing a club
with children from other schools. 62% said straight out yes, they’d be happy for children from other
schools to join, while 32% said “maybe”.
Why are parents so keen for school clubs to continue?
Clearly, it’s important to understand why parents want and need online clubs.
When asked to explain their answers, it becomes clear that the biggest challenge for parents is keeping
children engaged (“boredom” the most mentioned word) while also juggling other demands such as work
and stress of living at home.
Overwhelmingly the one thing that children are missing most is doing things with their friends. They want
more than just text messages and chat. This means that online clubs need to be as much about the activity
as about
keeping children connected to each other.
Many parents reported that they are struggling to work from home AND home school their children at the
same time. This is even more demanding for the 25% of families that single-parent.
You just have to imagine the situation where a single-parent was just about managing to cope with two
highly active young children (4 and 8) but who could be packed off to school clubs and after school care
during term time.
It was bad enough having to get up early to feed and get everyone out of the house for 7.30am to drop
everyone off at 8am at breakfast club, then to juggle the afternoon pick up between school clubs, friends
and family, before getting food on the table, children into bed and dealing with the daily admin of life.
Now such parent are being asked to be teacher-at-home as well.
Finally, we suspect that most parents now know that it’s possible to run clubs and lots of other activities
online. We spoke to one parent whose two daughters go to Brownies (run by volunteers) who are loving
their regular 1.5hrs each week on Zoom. The parents, one of whom is volunteering to help build field
hospitals in South Wales, while the other works in a call centre (now working from home) are both loving
the break too.
So, what now?
School clubs are actually something incredibly easy to get set up if you have the right
cloud systems provider on your side.
Clubbly tested online school clubs in March in the first week of lockdown, learning
some of the tricks that take a club from good to great. Coaches are incredibly creative
about how to make online clubs fun and engaging, while the author of this report
himself is thoroughly enjoying his weekly evening circuits with his mates.
At the moment, Clubbly is the only system on the market that brings together schools, parents and
providers into a single cloud portal to automate all the admin. Many schools use Clubbly entirely for FREE,
running upwards of 30 clubs each week through the portal.
Clubbly can handle literally all a school’s clubs – whether teacher run, externally delivered, paid or free,
funded by pupil premium money, sports or hobbies. Standard messages are automated, while users can
use the portal to communicate with just the participants on a particular club at the click of a button. Most
importantly in the Covid-19 years, administrators can use it to run their school clubs from home!
Setting up a club takes just two minutes, and the rest takes care of itself
In less than an hour, you could have 20+ clubs set up
ready to take bookings from parents
Final take-away
Irrespective of how you decide to administer your clubs, it’s clear that parents desperately want their
school clubs to continue, for their own sanity and to help them support their children while schooling at
Survey carried out on 19th – 22nd April 2020
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