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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:10 pm 
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I feel this should more accurately be filed under the 'taking the p*ss' topic. Then I could seamlessly ask which anti-depressants I could take and still be able to play!
I don't know how Charles has managed to get the money, but what can you say? Good luck to him, let's hope it has the desired effect.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Charles is attempting to do an incredibly difficult job. I don't think I would want to try to bring chess to the impoverished of Bradford if somebody offered me £250,000, let alone a tenth of that. I wish Charles all the best (as I'm sure everybody here does), but I cannot help feeling that judging by Charles' comments and actions here and elsewhere that perhaps the underprivileged of Bradford deserve a little bit better. At the end of the day though I am sat at a new computer at an expensive public school and Charles is at the 'coalface' if you like. So as I say, good luck to him.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:16 am 
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Hi to you both. Thank you for your comments, I do take alot from from them. This is a "Picture Article" which means they have skated over the top of everything and anything important. So i'll fill you guys in on what it missed. The target was to help 800 children in Bradford North; firstly with coaching then getting the kids to one of the 5 touraments we have every year. All that is normal everyday running. At this point the fun begins which comes out of that £25k (which we got in August last year). We hand pick the most dedicated and begin a mentoring scheme done at a one to one level. Each of the kids on the scheme are classed as underachievers or, in most cases, are in a Pupil Referral Unit (which to me and you Jo taxpayer costs us £130k more than a mainstream school child) we then work with the School, said childs teacher, key worker (and anyone else involved with that child) and as a group we all push to improve behaviour using Chess as the hook. We now have 4 mentoree's (which is a saving to council of £520K per annum if we are successful, thats the "Return On Investment" the Area North Panel were looking for) with the next bit of funding, which is far higher, we should be able to expand our coaching staff from 7 to 12, and take on as many as 12 Pupil Referral Unit Children.

I think from my point of view this project and company is amazing cos everytime we succeed a child doesn't become a criminal, doesn't cost us all loads of money in tax but most and far more importantly they understand that "Everything in life worth having is worth working for" which should by some miracle might get them back to becoming a good, valued person in society.

My open offer of any potential coach, Academy builder or anyone interested how ECM and the funding system works is still on, please get in touch and you can pop round I'll happily share all and any information I have.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:43 am 
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Chess can help with many things, logical thinking, organisational skills and is traditionally associated with maths.

"The target was to help 800 children"

"£25k (which we got in August last year)"

"mentoring scheme done at a one to one level"

"We now have 4 mentoree's"

I can sure we can do a few divisions and a bit of ratios, but I am struggling to make that add up.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:58 am 
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Matthew Turner wrote:
Chess can help with many things, logical thinking, organisational skills and is traditionally associated with maths.

"The target was to help 800 children"

"£25k (which we got in August last year)"

"mentoring scheme done at a one to one level"

"We now have 4 mentoree's"

I can sure we can do a few divisions and a bit of ratios, but I am struggling to make that add up.


It took me an hour and a halve to explain how we spent the money in Chambers. what are you unclear about and i'll go through it for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:03 am 
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Well, very basically, £30 per child is not enough to carry out any sort of proper mentoring on a one-to-one level.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:12 am 
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Matthew Turner wrote:
Well, very basically, £30 per child is not enough to carry out any sort of proper mentoring on a one-to-one level.


No one said we were Mentoring 800 children, just 4; £25k is broken up into ring fenced pockets as per ECM thinking. Some covers travel for the kids, some covers cups, medals and certificates, some covers coaching, some is for Business Sustainability, etc etc, you work in a school you know how ECM works. The £25k is just for building a division for kids and mentoring, this is the smallest amount we were funded this year by far.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Maybe your right Ernie, no matter what a chess activist does he gets slated. All I can say is most people said its impossible to get this sort of funding, its not its just hard. That and change is needed. As for the council believing in the Renaissance Academy's work, to be honest they don't care, they just want lower budgets, and they will back anything that can prove a "Return On Investment" that is higher than the initial investment. Everything we gather in evidence we are happy to share it so it can make the path a little easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:18 am 
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Charles Wood wrote
"Maybe your right Ernie, no matter what a chess activist does he gets slated."


Oh boy do I know that!

I spent a fair chunk of a weekend with Charles in Bradford about 18 months ago and we talked chess and about what he was doing in Bradford and what we were doing at CCF. We still chat from time to time and CCF is hoping to be developing an activity in a part of South London soon thanks to Charles's help and contacts. Charles is one of those guys that says what he thinks (which is probably why we get on so well!) and "gets on with the job." He achieves - but he doesn't get noticed so much because what he does isn't always touching on the national chess scene in terms of star players.

Somewhere in this thread somebody commented about the ECF and how it should have appointed Charles to sort Chess for Schools, etc. Never was a truer word said. The trouble for the ECF is that people like Charles don't want to waste their time putting heads above the parapit to be shot at - when if left alone he would do a good job - as he has done in Bradford.

Too many committees spoil the broth. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Wow Charlie. Good Luck with this.

If this comes off, and you are 90% there on enthusiasm, then you must write
a detailed article for CHESS or BCM telling others how to apporach and any
mistakes to watch out for.

God knows what would have happened if you had to run it past any chess committee.
They would have sat there with their thumbs up their arses and their brains in neutral.

Go for it, send games and pictures to everyone who has media access.

Have you considered a day trip, two from each school down to Canterbury and let
them soak up the atmosphere and meet some top players.
Get them into the demo room with Andrew Martin, you will have a bus load
of converts talking chess all the way home.

Geoff

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:22 pm 
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Hi Geoff.

Thanks for the comments, but like I said about we actually got the money in August 2009. We have built quite alot with it. These type of articles are more retrospective than they look. As a tiny bit of funding its nice to get but to do any of the real work needed larger amounts are used. The Renaissance Academy's targets for the next 5 years are to start making Education and Council Budget savings in the £.5m to £1m mark. We normally aim for 10 times "Return On Investment". All good fun, oh and to those people who do like what we are doing, thanks for the pat on the back, sometimes its said just when its need but its always welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Hi All,
This report has just been submitted after meeting BDMC's Area East Panel. I have taken out any names and parts that fall under our DPA policy.

Some of you thinking about the funding route may find it interesting.

"The Renaissance Academy attended Bradford Council Chambers in city hall to address the “Area Panels” with the view of applying for further funding. The whole visit was broken down it three main sections.

1. Jacob’s Well: A major debrief looking at all the areas the funding has covered over the last year. Including building of a mixed Adult and Junior league, this falls under the “Enjoying and Achieving” and “Making a positive Contribution” sections of Every Child Matters (ECM). Running 5 Tournaments for everyone to take part in from areas outside the new Bradford East (was Bradford North), this falls under “Enjoying and Achieving” and “Economic Well-Being” sections of ECM. The Renaissance Academy Mentoring Scheme (TRAMS) which offers one to one training for one hour a week to a select group of children, this falls under “Enjoying and Achieving” and “Being Healthy” sections of ECM. Coaching in two Pupil Referral Units (PRU), a Behaviour Unit (BU), five Primary Schools in “special measures” and three Secondary Schools in inner city Bradford on a weekly basis, this falls under “Economic Well-Being” section of ECM (purely as most chess coaching is recognised as only being delivered in Grammar/Independent/Public Schools).

The debrief was more centred on making sure all development work fell squarely into ECM sections and gave a “Return On Investment” larger than the initial amount given (in this case £25k). After show and proving the saving to the taxpayer was £520k, and this was a year on year saving for the next 3 years (The age of the four PRU pupils is the only limiting factor in cost savings going forward). After listing each of the schools, PRUs and BUs and amounts of children coached throughout Bradford East the end figure came to 283 pupils educated in chess last week. The reason for a snapshot week is some figures will be a lot higher over a year due to the ever changing nature of the schools intake and PRU/BU inbuilt objective of returning pupils to mainstream school. The central core offering of five tournaments and an Adult/Junior League has to made open to entrants outside Bradford Area East so doesn’t need to show a Return On Investment but does show that more than half attendees were pupils in the Bradford Area East. The end averages were 55% in the Tournaments and 67% in the Adult/Junior League. TRAMS delivery has shown that the 12 mentored pupils are receiving one to one coaching delivered by a Beginner Level Coach on a weekly basis and also mentored by a player over (old ECF) 150 graded player and coach on an “at least once a month basis”.

2. Bradford Council Main Chamber: A speech about Educational Attainment and its connection to Child Poverty. The main points of the speech centred on the facts that with a weekly amount of in school coaching and the addition of TRAMS shows that any child can achieve the same levels of success that a child from a well off background can attain. Showing the surprising level of educational development from children who were proven to be “Underachievers” by giving as much access to an activity that these children would not normally get chance to experience, in most cases the only activity they can do, through support at the school/home to enable attendance. Lowered entrance fees and ensuring the core of the ECM policy is followed gives each child the ability to build confidence and empower each child with a social network that they would not normally enjoy.

The body of the audience in Bradford Council’s Main Chamber were Councillors, Social Workers, Educational Welfare Officers, Youth and Community Workers, Educational Psychologists, Head Teachers and others such as PALS, JAZZ, CAHMs etc. Totalling roughly 120 people. The speech was received well and did highlight the use of a simple singular sport that has an equalitist intake can support education and help develop children in school regardless of their economic status. Figures held within the multitude of reports done in the ECM document show clearly that the poorest children achieve the lowest levels of education, due to the lack of attendance of most activities mostly due to economic restraints. The Renaissance Academy’s insistence that every class is made up of at least 50% “underachievers” ensuring the right level of catchment is maintained. The figures gathered are understandably worth inspection, but throughout all schools and PRU/BU’s the jump from underachiever to average has been 38%. Though this is helped through the use of chess it’s not the sole reason; a lot of development is using a “locked in” activity like chess to reinforce core subjects by encouraging English by using the mass of books available, Maths in the form of puzzles and endgame structures. Homework as become a core part of coaching this enables children to discover how to relearn how to learn, and enjoy it. Working directly with the school and understanding each child’s educational needs is paramount to ensure that the correct developmental areas are covered; this does mean a huge amount of individual reporting needs to happen.

3. Area East Panel Office: The funding section was hard as it was reaffirming the Renaissance Academy’s commitment to all the objectives above but with an increase in eventual figures. A shift from 283 (was originally 200) pupils to 1000 in Bradford East Area. This would need an increase of “full time” coaches from 7 to 12, and an increase in volunteers from 6 to 30. Support coaches would have to increase from 6 to 10. The figure to attain this amount of increase to cover all schools in the Bradford East Area would be £100k to £120K this would include the continued delivery of Tournaments and League, and would include team uniforms and continued use of the public transport system to keep the Renaissance Academy Carbon Neutral. After 50 minutes this was agreed and subject to panel hearing will be passed."

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:43 pm 
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Charles,

Yes, but are you playing any chess? Renaissance Academy grading went down from 1360 halfgames in 2008-9 to nil in 2009-10.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:52 pm 
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Hi Richard

The answer is yes tons, I'd hate to even try and count the games we are playing. The problem is I have no graded players to start with, both you and the Yorkshire Grader Jon Griffith have pointed out that if I hand over loads of results with no graded matches in them neither of you can do anything with them. This is beginner chess so over this coming year starting with the League we have just done we are working on getting something both of you can work with. So 7 rounds down and many more to go, all with hopefull some grading fodder in there to help.

Out of that 1360 how many people actually got grades and how many were new players? We both chatted about this in more depth than I can understand at one of the ECF meetings. So I've had to take a different tack, hopefully with a couple of interesting developments along the way. The main one being part of the funding application we have requested money to make all the players who play any graded opposition into ECF members.

This may help a few bank balances too.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this interesting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Good afternoon Charles & Richard

Hope you are both well and enjoying some good weather - glorious here in Somerset 8) We know that over the last couple of years much work has been done to adjust the junior grades to fit a mathematical model. I assume it is now possible to draw a graph to show the expected average grade for a junior at any particular age. I have suggested in the past that a youngster should be able to join the ECF and immediately, as a benefit of becoming a member, be given their 'appropriate grade'. Within a year those who are better than the average will have a higher grade, those worse than av................ etc. It must be most disheartening for a youngster keen to play chess only to find that it could take at least a year to get their first grade. It's like telling a youngster joining a junior football club that he can join but will not be able to wear a team shirt until next season or the one after that.
The situation Charles finds himself in illustrates the nonsense in the current situation in getting your first grade and at a time when ECF finances are somewhat stretched then to cut off this potential source of income does not make sense to me. I think it would be relatively easy to sell ECF memberships if a grade when with it - or of course I could have got it completey wrong :roll:


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