Schools Liasion Officers?

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John Upham
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Schools Liasion Officers?

Post by John Upham » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:14 pm

I don't know if such things exists but do any counties or leagues or any other body possess a schools liasion officer?

Does the ECF have such a person? In other threads posters have noted that time and time again they offer free services to schools to help with chess club set-up and the running of and yet the schools, in the main, are not interested.

Would such officers help this unfortunate situation?

Should the ECF appoint such as person to work with the local ones?

Richard James
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Re: Schools Liasion Officers?

Post by Richard James » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:39 pm

I was Schools Liaison Officer for the Richmond Chess Initiative from its foundation in 1993 to its demise in 2005.

And, before you ask, I'm not interested in becoming Schools Liaison Officer for the ECF.

John Upham
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Re: Schools Liasion Officers?

Post by John Upham » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:49 pm

Richard,
Could you let us know something of the work that you did and how it might help to build bridges with schools?

How do we get a foot in the door?

Peter Turner
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Re: Schools Liasion Officers?

Post by Peter Turner » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:00 pm

Richard James wrote:I was Schools Liaison Officer for the Richmond Chess Initiative from its foundation in 1993 to its demise in 2005.

And, before you ask, I'm not interested in becoming Schools Liaison Officer for the ECF.
Richard you, and others, have done a great job in your work with junior chess in Richmond. In the early days were you supported by Stan Grundy and Rotary International Chess Initiative? I met with Stan and, as I remember the discussion, there was a hope that local & regional Rotary Clubs would be encouraged to raise £5,000 to support local schools to have chess clubs. I did some work in North Lincolnshire on behalf of local Rotarians but don't know if it was done anywhere else.

Richard James
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Re: Schools Liasion Officers?

Post by Richard James » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:34 pm

John and Peter

Yes, the Richmond Chess Initiative was funded by Stanley Grundy and by local charities. I was working through the Education Department of the Borough of Richmond upon Thames and at one point had an office there but was not directly paid by them.

Originally we were encouraging schools to set up and expand chess clubs and providing free equipment. In the early days I was also paid to help schools directly with their clubs but the money for that ran out after which the schools had to pay me themselves. (It's actually a rather longer story than that, but this is not the right place to tell it.)

Finally the money ran out completely and the RCI was disbanded.

My time with the RCI convinced me that after-school and lunchtime chess clubs were not the right way to approach chess in schools and that a different approach was needed. Although children gained a lot of short-term enjoyment from these clubs most of them lost interest after a year or two. Those who did continue usually dropped out on leaving primary school. I had intended to start a thread about this some time ago but decided that, with the Chess for Schools happening it was probably not the right time to appear to be critical of schools chess.

If you haven't already done so you could read my articles which have been published in various places and can be read online at http://richardjames.org.uk/articles.htm.



Richard

Peter Turner
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Re: Schools Liasion Officers?

Post by Peter Turner » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:00 pm

Richard

Thanks for that information, I will certainly follow up the link to those articles written by you.

Regards

Peter T

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