Sherpa Kids: A seamless partnership - Education Matters Magazine
Beyond the Classroom

Sherpa Kids: A seamless partnership

Since introducing Sherpa Kids’ out of school hours care program to its students five years ago, St Paul’s Camden hasn’t looked back. The structured yet flexible approach has become a welcome addition to the school.

With a high number of its students requiring before and after school care, St Paul’s identified the need for a more suitable solution.

Without a service of this kind previously offered at the school, parents were having to rely on external providers. Based in Sydney’s south-west, in a busy part of Camden, having busloads of students being brought to and from the school was becoming a logistical nightmare.

That’s when Michael Rasmussen, who is the current General Manager of Sherpa Kids and was teaching at St Paul’s at the time, suggested adding Sherpa Kids’ programs into the school’s offering.

“There was a high number of students requiring before and after school care. Outsourcing with those sorts of numbers, it was obvious this needed to change. The school saw a real need to enlist a third party. Based on what Sherpa Kids could provide, St Paul’s decided to develop that opportunity under

Mr Rasmussen’s direction,” says St Paul’s Principal, Michael Reardon.

Making use of St Paul’s existing facilities, Sherpa Kids has been run out of the school hall since January 2014.

There are 615 students attending the school, with approximately 250 students using the before or after school care services provided by Sherpa Kids each week. These services are also utilised by a public school located just across the road.

Mr Reardon says the programs have provided a positive solution to the school’s outside of school hours care requirements, giving him one less thing to worry about.

“The fact that all of the administration is taken care of is great. I love the fact that I don’t need to worry. The programs have an element of flexibility but at the same time, staff are very consistent. And as Mr Rasmussen comes from an educational background, I know I can trust in the way things are run,” Mr Reardon says.

He adds that the feedback from students has been positive too. “They actually like attending the program. It involves a lot of physical activity which is important. These are the sorts of activities we can’t provide during school times because time doesn’t allow for it. It’s great that it encourages kids to be moving around, especially when kids these days can spend a lot of time sedentary.”

According to Mr Reardon, Sherpa Kids has become a highly valued part of the school’s offering. “We see our relationship with Sherpa as very important, and that is reciprocated. I don’t take it for granted, and neither do they. The program runs so smoothly. It’s almost like Sherpa Kids has become part of the school because it’s just so seamless.”

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