ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Carl Portman
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Carl Portman » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:13 am

I am not sure if this is helpful but when the ECF Accredited Coach Scheme existed (as previously stated, it has been scrapped) I was one of them. My contract was with the school (not the ECF) and if there were to have been any queries about lesson delivery that would be a matter between the two contracting parties. Yes, one could add the 'kudos' of being an accredited coach onto an application which would/should show that you know something about the subject matter at least, but people still have a responsibility for their own actions. A decent contract demonstrates that both parties are serious about their commitment.

Andy Stoker
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Andy Stoker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:22 pm

"You're a peripatetic going into schools specifically to do chess, and in these cases, you're treated as a de facto member of staff who is trusted to get on with it by themselves. I think that's by far the most common model in primary schools. The "sit in the room" model also exists in primary schools, but given the age of the children, you need to do a bit more babysitting to keep order.
[/quote]

That sounds like a significant safeguarding issue - so I guess I may have misunderstood. At the very least, a member of staff would supervise the children until the visiting coach had arrived and was ready to take over - assuming s/he had appropriate training and DBS registration for that setting. ... so the member of staff would know the coach was late / disorganised and would have a duty of care to do something about it.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:22 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:22 pm
That sounds like a significant safeguarding issue - so I guess I may have misunderstood. At the very least, a member of staff would supervise the children until the visiting coach had arrived and was ready to take over - assuming s/he had appropriate training and DBS registration for that setting. ... so the member of staff would know the coach was late / disorganised and would have a duty of care to do something about it.
No, I normally arrive early and set up in the empty room, and then the children come and join me. I should probably do that now, actually... :oops:

Andy Stoker
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Andy Stoker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:08 pm

Interesting - so if you aren't there, what would the children do? Is this the same for secondary and primary?

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:40 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:08 pm
Interesting - so if you aren't there, what would the children do? Is this the same for secondary and primary?
Like Alex, for any after school club - or any other situation for that matter - I was* always sure to be in place before any children arrived.

I don’t know about what would happen with Alex and his schools and off the top of my head, but if a chess club doesn’t run for any reason I suspect what the school would probably try to get the children in to other clubs.

Not that the issue ends with the club finishing for the day. It’s not unknown for parents simply to fail to turn up to collect their children. Some will be late from time to time for unavoidable reasons. Very occasionally parents just don’t turn up at all. I had one child at one club who’s father would frequently (2-3 times each 10 week term) just not arrive to collect his son. I remember one time the school phoned him to ask when he’d be there and he just said something along the lines of, "I’m working, I’m not coming at all".

I don’t know what happened after that because I’d handed the children back to the responsibility of the school.

But you raise an important point in that what happens to the children after the club ends - and who is responsible for handing them back to the care of their parents - is rather important.

The care of the children before the club starts is also, of course, why turning up on time is a really important and not some kind of optional extra.


There’s probably the main difference between primary and secondary schools. With older kids the need to hand a child directly to a parent/carer is less of an issue.







* past tense because I don’t work in chess these days.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:53 pm

"Not that the issue ends with the club finishing for the day. It’s not unknown for parents simply to fail to turn up to collect their children."

That happened to a friend of mine who coached in schools - it was usually the same parent as well...

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF ACCREDITED COACH: COMPLAINTS SYSTEM?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:30 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:08 pm
Interesting - so if you aren't there, what would the children do? Is this the same for secondary and primary?
So I have two types of club:
- Lunchtime in secondary schools, for which the schools pay
- After school in primary schools, for which the children pay a subscription

In my specific case, the only time I'm "not there" is when duty calls elsewhere. This might mean the London Chess Classic, or the Olympiad last year. I'm never not there for any other reason.

With lunchtimes in secondary schools, actually, the club will continue without me and a teacher will sit in with them for an hour. The teacher is actually usually in with me in these cases, normally because the club is taking place in their classroom, so they're in there marking books or sorting teams out for matches, or on occasions joining in. If I'm not there, it's no real problem - the club runs but there's no coaching. Of course the school don't pay for my having not been there, so it works fine. The schools are relaxed so long as I tell them. If the teacher isn't there for any reason, and the children turn up, they'll work out chess isn't on, and end up just drifting off and finding something else to do. No real harm done.

With after school in primary schools, I have two schools:
- One school where another coach does the administration and is the lead, but I go in and do some of the clubs. The other coach has direct communication with the parents.
- One school where I do all the admin and the coaching, and have direct communication with the parents.

With the first school, I give the lead the dates I won't be there, and the lead either cancels/doesn't run the session, or makes other arrangements for cover.

With the second school, I am only committed to doing 30 dates, so if I am away, I email the parents directly to say that the club won't run that week. I normally do this a week or two in advance, and tell the children verbally, to avoid any confusion.

Touch wood, I've never yet missed a lesson I was scheduled to do.
Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:40 pm
Not that the issue ends with the club finishing for the day. It’s not unknown for parents simply to fail to turn up to collect their children. Some will be late from time to time for unavoidable reasons. Very occasionally parents just don’t turn up at all. I had one child at one club who’s father would frequently (2-3 times each 10 week term) just not arrive to collect his son. I remember one time the school phoned him to ask when he’d be there and he just said something along the lines of, "I’m working, I’m not coming at all".

I don’t know what happened after that because I’d handed the children back to the responsibility of the school.

But you raise an important point in that what happens to the children after the club ends - and who is responsible for handing them back to the care of their parents - is rather important.

The care of the children before the club starts is also, of course, why turning up on time is a really important and not some kind of optional extra.
With my lunchtime clubs in secondary schools, the children just go to their next lesson/registration.

With my after school primary schools, both have an after care provision in case a child isn't collected. In one school, I just hand them over because the after care is handled in house. In the other school, it's a private company who run the provision, and often the children are on a list and go straight over to them. If the children aren't collected, then the Office normally handles it, and they may end up in with the after care to look after them. I've never had the problem on the scale that Jonathan experienced. Some parents can give written permission to the school for their child to walk home by themselves.

In the days when I ran a secondary school club after school, the children came and went as they pleased. It ran 4-5:30, and some would turn up at 4:30 having just been doing some work in the IT room. Others would do it the other way around and leave early to go to the IT room, which stayed open until 6pm. One had an hourly bus to Worcester at 5:10, the stop for which was about a 15-minute walk away. So rather than run for it, he came to chess until about 4:45, then had a leisurely walk to the bus stop. The children weren't paying for it so there was no bond for them to be there. The lunchtime clubs are similar; people come and go as they get their lunch, and as they get reminded they've homework due in that afternoon that they haven't done yet...

But yes, one has to turn up early! I have to move a load of furniture around in one club, and if my room is suddenly out of use for something more important at short notice, then I have to abandon ship to the IT room and use Chesskid, and get the message around to the teachers that chess won't be in the normal place. I've turned up before and found my room was locked and the key has not been returned, so they had to find a spare/the person who had it. I've turned up and found the equipment wasn't where I expected it to be, so had to find it. If I turned up 2 minutes before the lesson, how do I sort all that out?!

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