Coaching

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
Richard Bates
Posts: 3111
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:36 pm

For online exams, how do you prevent ringers from sitting the papers?

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2970
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Coaching

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:05 pm

Ernie, that is all very honourable, but how can you decline someone a coaching qualification if they pass all the hurdles? on suspicion? You must also have a re-habilitation of offenders policy. Is someone convicted of shoplifting suitable to work with children? what if they were only 16 at the time? what if it was ten years ago? Some of these issues are very difficult, but you risk getting into some very murky legal waters. I'm just delighted to be out of the ECF, but Andy sure has a difficult job!

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2970
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Coaching

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:51 pm

Ernie,
I think you are slightly missing the point. Let's say that X wants to be a chess coach, but I have suspicions about him. I do as you suggest and speak up, letting Andy Martin know (probably something he was already aware of). What should Andy do if X has the references and CRB clearances? I'm afraid for official purposes suspicions mean diddly-squat.
Oh and by the way, I can assure you that a chess coach has got CRB clearance despite being convicted of a sexual offence and here is the proof

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6681561.stm

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2970
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Coaching

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:02 pm

Ernie,
There is no way in the world that the police are ever going to reveal their intelligence, whatever is 'supposed' to happen. Firstly, that would jeopardise ongoing investigations and secondly they would likely end up in court.
The CRB system is, and has always been, flawed. It is not difficult for a paedophile to get round the system if they wish to. Ommitting a middle name, changing house and giving slightly incorrect details of a previous address, or simply claiming to be somebody else!
Of course if you feel that a youngster is at risk (from a coach) you can have a quiet word with the parents. In fact, this is what happened to my parents concerning the coach you referred to earlier. However, this is all unofficial, off the record and as the Director of Coaching, you simply cannot act officially on the basis on suspicion. Otherwise, the person in question will sue you (and the ECF) for every penny you've got and probably move to Thailand on the proceeds.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2970
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Coaching

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:08 pm

The instances that you are talking about are quite lucky - most clubs won't have two ex police officers and the situations can be handled fairly easily on an ad hoc basis. I would act in exactly the same way as you described and everything would be fine. After all there is no point a paedophile sitting in a chess club being watched by two coppers, he might as well go down the local church, hockey club or tennis centre where he might have more luck.
However, there is still an issue about how an official organisation can best protect youngsters. Consider a situation, It is 1985 and you are still a policeman. A bandwagon of popular support elects you to the unpaid BCF Directorship of Coaching. Former British Champion, Barry Elver applies to be a BCF coach, he has excellent coaching credentials with many successful pupils. Barry has his enhanced CRB clearance and two glowing endorsements (from parents of pupils he has coached as it happens). However, there is constant flow of speculation that as a highly respected BCF official noted Barry was a dodgy motor. Checks with your police colleagues reveal nothing amiss, but the speculation, all off the record of course just keeps coming in. What do you do?

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 4077
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: Coaching

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:21 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Just another thought, lets say someone gives the ECF manager of coaching information about the suspicous activities of a coach and the ECF board decide to do nothing for fear of being wrong. The individual then does something and it all comes out that the ECF had information but failed to act well I rather suspect the parents of the child would have a very good case against the ECF! Imagine the damage it would do to the ECF. These problems can place organisations and individuals on the horns of a dillema. Do nothing and be dammed , do something and be dammed. I am pleased I am not an ECF Director! :D .
I suspect the answer, in such a situation, would depend on whether he had any coaching contracts directly with the ECF itself. In such cases, it would be appropriate for the ECF to suspend those pending an investigation.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2970
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Coaching

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:28 pm

Ernie,
You are absolutely right. In the end you probably have very little alternative, you must put procedures in place - demanding CRB clearance and references to make it harder for a paedophile to get through. If you are the Director of Coaching and someone undertakes these steps and your suspicions are such that you cannot award them a coaching qualification then you simply have to resign your Directorship. Under no circumstances would I have been able to award the hypothetical Barry Elver a coaching qualification. I would like to make it absolutely clear that I in no way left the Manager of Coaching role because I was unable to award a qualification, but I way always aware, right from the start, that this eventuality might arise.

Peter Turner
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Peter Turner » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:48 am

The debate concerning the validation of coaches and the merits of CRB checks is particularly important prior to the introduction of the Assistant Coach 'qualification'. Currently the ECF has a list of 'Accredited Coaches'. This was introduced by Matthew T when BCF Director of Coaching. Initially most of the coaches listed were involved with the Certificate of Excellence and working in a voluntary capacity. The voluntary element was important as their CRB disclosures could be processed on a 'cost of administration' fee. CRB did not levy a charge. My recollection is that the Board eventually agreed a charge of £25. As a registered CRB Umbrella Body the BCF were able to implement the dislosure process, there were very strict proceedures & guidelines. The ECF is not an Umbrella Body so I'm not sure how individuals now get their enhanced CRB certificates
In more recent times coaches on the ECF accredited list seems to be 'professionals' advertising their availability for what I assume is paid employment. This change from voluntary to paid requires the individual to pay a fee to the CRB for processing the disclosure process. CRB take a very dim view of anyone falsely claiming to be voluntary. I note that the criteria for being listed is clearly stated and essentially unchanged since introduced by Matthew T. See below:

ECF Accredited Coaches
ECF Accredited Coaches have fulfilled the following requirements:

1) They hold an Enhanced CRB Clearance, which is less than three years old.
2) They have supplied the ECF office with two appropriate chess coaching references.
3) They are a current ECF member.


Provided documents relating to items 1, 2 & 3 above are kept secure and updated as appropriate the ECF will have fulfilled their responsibilities BUT since I believe that we are the only country with a CRB system I cannot believe everyone on the list can have provided an Enhanced CRB certificate. Individuals residing abroad or recently coming to the UK would have difficulty under the CRB proceedure. We would not wish to lose quality coaches because of this problem so perhaps where this is the case it should be noted and perhaps an extra reference required.

If the current system as above is satisfactory then it could be used as a framework for the 'Assistant Coach' catagory.

Claire Summerscale
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:18 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Claire Summerscale » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:30 am

Dear all
Just a couple of bits of info that I think are relevant and were in place when I was Junior Director.

The ecf get their crb clearances through another organisation and coaches must pay for their clearances, unless as Peter quite rightly says, they are volunteers. From memory, this costs about £60.

There are similar systems in place to the crb clearance in countries such as France and coaches were required to go through the clearance process in their own country before inclusion on the accredited coaches list.

Claire

Peter Turner
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Peter Turner » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:50 pm

Claire Summerscale wrote:Dear all
Just a couple of bits of info that I think are relevant and were in place when I was Junior Director.

The ecf get their crb clearances through another organisation and coaches must pay for their clearances, unless as Peter quite rightly says, they are volunteers. From memory, this costs about £60.

There are similar systems in place to the crb clearance in countries such as France and coaches were required to go through the clearance process in their own country before inclusion on the accredited coaches list.

Claire
I do know of the system in France and I think that I provided a reference for a GM based in France. Whilst Director of Junior Chess I had several requests, for inclusion on the Accredited list, from foreign titled players hoping to come to the UK and make a living from coaching. Almost without exception they were not able to come up with anything similar to the CRB system. The exception was an East European player based in Germany who threatened to take me to the European Court of Human Rights!! The major point I was trying to make was that if there are coaches on the list where ANY exception has made then that should be clearly indicated because they have not met the 3 criteria agreed by the Board. In normal circumstances this will not be an issue but believe me should there be an allegation against anyone on the list and all 3 criteria could be demonstrated there will be a problem. I'm very sensitive about the whole issue of legal responsibility as early in my teaching career I was called to Crown Court as a witness in a major case where a youngster, at an inter-school swimming gala, dived in the shallow end and broke his neck!! It taught me two things, you need to have systems /proceedures in place and if, as in the criteria for Accredited Coaches, you have published standards then those requirements must be adhered to without exception. Any deviation from the criteria should be noted. I don't think there is much wrong with what is in place provided we are diligent in ensuring that the documentation is upto date and available for the appropriate authorities if required.

Peter Turner
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Peter Turner » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:53 pm

missed a very important word, all 3 criteria could be demonstrated there will be a problem. shoud read: all 3 criteria could NOT be demonstrated ..

Nick Thomas
Posts: 455
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Nick Thomas » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:36 pm

For the sake of clarity:

1) Can anyone be an ECF "assistant coach" provided they have a current Enhanced CRB and pass the £5 online test.
2) Does the "assistant coach" assist anyone.
3) Are they require to undergo any training whatsoever.
4) Is it a requirement for them to EVER meet anyone from the ECF.

andrew martin

Re: Coaching

Post by andrew martin » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:27 pm

The concept of the Assistant Coach was mine and formulated at a time when 250,000 chess sets were still on the table,alongside 25000 schools. Like many , I did not want to see the sets gathering dust and wanted to try to find a coping mechanism to deal with,for instance, 20,000 new schools without a chess teacher.

What should you do about this situation?




To answer Nick's questions :

1) The Assistant Coach has to have the same levels of clearance and approval a regular Accredited Coach must have. These have been in place for some time. If they pass the online exam,they will have the basic knowledge to get beginners started. This is designed to suit teachers who have no current knowledge about chess, but who would want to help the project or motivated parents who would like to get things going in a new school.

2) The Assistant Coach could assist a regular ECF Accredited Coach in those schools where numbers grew rapidly as a result of the new chess sets in the basic teaching and take some stress away. Hence the title. It's similar to a classroom assistant I guess.

3) Regarding training, no school is going to let anyone near the children without some sort of vetting and supervision first. Let's say they hold the assistant coach title as a result of someone else taking the exam for them and know nothing about chess.How long do you think it's going to take the average school to find this out ? This is almost wholly unlikely in my view.


4) It's not a requirement to meet anyone from the ECF. Do you think it should be as long as they fulfil the CRB and references criteria?


Andrew

Peter Turner
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Peter Turner » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:47 pm

Hi Andrew

I suspect that Nick remembers that when BCF was an Umbrella Body it was a requirement that a candidate for disclosure had to be seen by an authorised person from the BCF to prove their identity and postal address. The proceedures were strict as laid down by the CRB. Has it now been dumbed down so that this does not now happen. Should this be the case it is open to fraud!!
I assume that the 9,000 schools who applied for free sets have someone on the staff/a parent etc who has volunteered to co-ordinate the chess acttivity or why would they ask for the sets!? I have to say that if a school cannot afford 10 chess sets they are unlikely to be considering paying someone to do the coaching.

Nick Thomas
Posts: 455
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Re: Coaching

Post by Nick Thomas » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:13 pm

Thanks for your swift reply Andrew.
The concept of the Assistant Coach was mine and formulated at a time when 250,000 chess sets were still on the table,alongside 25000 schools. Like many , I did not want to see the sets gathering dust and wanted to try to find a coping mechanism to deal with,for instance, 20,000 new schools without a chess teacher.

What should you do about this situation?
Understandable. This is no longer the case though so cannot any longer be any sort of justification. I'm not sure if the question at the end is rhetorical or not...
1) The Assistant Coach has to have the same levels of clearance and approval a regular Accredited Coach must have. These have been in place for some time. If they pass the online exam,they will have the basic knowledge to get beginners started. This is designed to suit teachers who have no current knowledge about chess, but who would want to help the project or motivated parents who would like to get things going in a new school.
To repeat my question, can anyone be an ECF "assistant coach" provided they have a current Enhanced CRB and pass the £5 online test. I assume from your answer that the answer is yes.
2) The Assistant Coach could assist a regular ECF Accredited Coach in those schools where numbers grew rapidly as a result of the new chess sets in the basic teaching and take some stress away. Hence the title. It's similar to a classroom assistant I guess.
Anyone deemed suitable could assist a regular ECF Accredited Coach in schools and also receive training whilst doing it. I assume from your reply that assistant coaches will generally not be assisting anyone.
3) Regarding training, no school is going to let anyone near the children without some sort of vetting and supervision first. Let's say they hold the assistant coach title as a result of someone else taking the exam for them and know nothing about chess.How long do you think it's going to take the average school to find this out ? This is almost wholly unlikely in my view.
This is the main problem Andrew as it is just not true. People with the endorsement of an ECF Assistant Coach "qualification" will be put in charge of a class of children immediately with no further vetting or supervision whatsoever in many many schools. I am shocked at the naivety of the above statement. If the ECF are giving out qualifications they MUST take responsibility and not pass it on to the schools.
4) It's not a requirement to meet anyone from the ECF. Do you think it should be as long as they fulfil the CRB and references criteria?
Yes I do.

Giving out qualifications to anyone with access to a computer is a bit like moving a pawn in chess. It may seem like a good idea at the time but it cannot be undone. If you are going to give out qualifications to people to care for and train children then the ECF should make sure that they are prepared to take full responsibility for the actions or inactions of the people they endorse.

Locked