This is a good case to bring forward because both you and Kevin are hitting a wall with ECM (Every Child Matters) written on it. And "FREE" does not mean anything to schools unless you can put one foot over the door frame. Firstly its nothing to do with you being on the outside of schools, in fact schools can receive extra funding cash if they use external agencies such as chess.Tony Robson wrote:I agree, Brent, from our modest experience we feel too that lack of chess sets is often not the problem. Our problem is perhaps slightly different, but frustrating none-the-less.Brent Smith wrote: ...my personal experience is that many schools have chess sets, but only a very small proportion have a chess club
...The "problem" is not lack of chess sets, but rather a lack of people willing / able to run a school club
1. I and two colleagues have taught chess to children from 4 to 18 since 2007.
2. We can provide chess sets and teaching materials at no cost.
3. We do not charge for our time or other expenses.
4. We have enhanced CRB clearance.
5. We are not members of the teaching profession.
6. Less than 15% of the 60 schools in our immediate area "do chess".
We have approached about 25 of these schools and they are simply not interested in receiving any outside help. As far as we can judge, they appear reluctant to deal with people not within the schools system.
Have any others found this in their areas of the country? Why do you think this is? How can we overcome this?
If you would like me to clarify anything regarding our experience, please just ask.
Heres the first hurdle (after all the work you've done so far); insurance, and before you say anything nearly everyone reading this is going to say we are insured by the school if we coach there. Here is an issue between logic and policy. Government Guidelines state very clearly that ALL external bodies going into schools (Which there is masses) must have heir own Public Liability Insurance, why....... because each body going into schools has adults in it that don't just disappear when they leave the school grounds. In other words there may be contact between a chess coach and school pupil of site either accidentally (say at the supermarket) or organised (say in a local chess league match). Its thin but schools and governments do see it as a risk.
The next biggy is ECM its self. Read it first and all this makes sense. Schools will want you to tell them where your chess coaching will lay within the ECM structure, as it can fall into many subject areas this does cause schools a problem. I will try and explain this but if you haven't read ECM it might not make loads of sense. ALL State Schools follow ECM structure to the letter and often need to get funding to cover coaching and equipment even if it is offered free, this is because coaching in schools can have an affect on the cost bottom line if someone needs to stop back for an after school club, caretaker time, heating bill, lighting, letters to parents, permissions for food, photography and others etc added to all this is, when a school is applying for this funding to be able to get you in free it will have to argue of the funding forms what sort of organisation they are suggesting to bring in, is it an unincorporated association, a limited company, ltd by guarantee. Then is it Not-for Profit, volunteer based, Employee structured, a mix etc. All this would need to be explained as well. Good example of this is Professional Football Clubs "in Communities" schemes which are set up exactly as above and are usually at no cost to schools.
Outcomes and objectives are a big area to explain on first contact too, "What would be the benefit over all", "Who are you aiming to help", "How would you measure your outcomes", and "at What point do you class measured outcomes as a success". All that has to be delivered in ECM language.
ALL that needs to be spelt out at first contact with the school. I'm sure Dia Carpenter will agree will everything I have just said. It may look like the work needed to do something as simple as coaching chess in schools is massive but it has been done like this on purpose to ensure a structured and safe approach to dealing with children in every environment in any and all subjects from football to tidley winkles. Schools are mad keen on getting chess to their pupils, we just need to be set up correctly first. And before you all say it, some schools do have chess in them already, in some cases thats because schools did most of the work to keep their chess at the point of ECM implementation back in 2000, others are exceptions where a teacher, head, governor have done it themselves.
The irony in all this is that setting up a company, paying your staff and charging schools is actually the easiest route. I still say, as a parent, the ECM structure is right its just really hard.