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 â€œArea Panelsâ€ with the view of applying for further funding. The whole visit was broken down it three main sections.
1. Jacobâ€™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 â€œEnjoying and Achievingâ€ and â€œMaking a positive Contributionâ€ 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 â€œEnjoying and Achievingâ€ and â€œEconomic Well-Beingâ€ 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 â€œEnjoying and Achievingâ€ and â€œBeing Healthyâ€ sections of ECM. Coaching in two Pupil Referral Units (PRU), a Behaviour Unit (BU), five Primary Schools in â€œspecial measuresâ€ and three Secondary Schools in inner city Bradford on a weekly basis, this falls under â€œEconomic Well-Beingâ€ 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 â€œReturn On Investmentâ€ larger than the initial amount given (in this case Â£25k). After show and proving the saving to the taxpayer was Â£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 doesnâ€™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 â€œat least once a month basisâ€.
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 â€œUnderachieversâ€ 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 Councilâ€™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 Academyâ€™s insistence that every class is made up of at least 50% â€œunderachieversâ€ ensuring the right level of catchment is maintained. The figures gathered are understandably worth inspection, but throughout all schools and PRU/BUâ€™s the jump from underachiever to average has been 38%. Though this is helped through the use of chess itâ€™s not the sole reason; a lot of development is using a â€œlocked inâ€ 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 childâ€™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 Academyâ€™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 â€œfull timeâ€ 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 Â£100k to Â£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."
Charles W. Wood
Captain of Legion