Heather Lang wrote:I've been watching all of this from the sidelines for a number of months. I guess my main observation would be that Andrew Martin, who is ECF Manager of Coaching, appears to have initially found out about the Chess Sets for Schools project (or at least the coaching side of the project) as a result of an announcement on the ECF website / forum rather than by being informed directly by someone within the ECF / Chess for Schools project and asked if he would like to be part of the team working on it from the start.
As there appear to be two parts to the project - providing chess sets, and following these up by offering to provide coaching in the schools that have received sets - it would make sense (to me anyway) for those running the project to invite the ECF Manager of Coaching to be involved with the project (whether from the start or from today). To say "Call when your[sic] wanting to be part of the team," in a public forum rather than inviting him to be part of a project run by the organisation he already holds a relevant post in seems an unusual way of going about it.
This impression may be completely wrong, and if it's not the case I apologise for misreading what has been written. But if I can read it like that, then I can see how sponsors / potential sponsors might also read it like that, and may also think it's an unusual way to go about things.
Another observation is that the route(s) by which schools may receive the free chess sets isn't currently 100% clear from the "Chess for Schools" website. My impression (from recent forum posts re Liverpool and from direct contact via my local County junior liaison officer) is that the sets are to be rolled out County by County. However, there's also a place on the Chess for Schools website (linked to from the ECF front page) where individual schools can register an interest.
Should schools be doing this, or should they be waiting for things to kick off in their own County, or should they be doing both? I appreciate that with a project like this, plans can change, but clarification would be welcome - especially if schools who are definitely interested can 'fast track' themselves by signing up directly via the Chess for Schools website, as the school featured on the ECF's front page with the first 10 chess sets appear to have done.
These observations are not attempts to accuse, apportion blame or criticise - just some input from someone who's not been in the thick of posting in these threads but has been following what has been posted.
Personally, I think that the big picture of the project is a great idea and am looking forward to be involved in some way, if this is possible, when the roll-out happens locally.
Good points, the Manager of Coaching situation is a long and complicated one. Not because of Andrew but more because of the split in the board.The manager of Coaching is a member of the Junior Directors staff as I understand it and should be ask by that official to be in charge of the coaching side of the project. As the split stopped more work than it created this has made it difficult for both me and Andrew. We snipe at each other now out of frustration rather than any malice. (The split is as I have said many times a situation that I had to live with, but I still to this day don't care who was right or wrong).
As for the schools registering. The answer is YES!. That may not look like the right answer to a open question but in this project it is. Registering will give us more information than the listing we are receiving. Registration also (well though the ECF email system) gives us an idea of what is going on out there, and it is very suprising. Sets will be (In believe, subject to confirmation from the parcel haulier) will be LEA to LEA.
Schools that register will not get any faster delivery but it will be known (by HMG) that they are the keen, proactive schools.