Ringing hubs was, I believe, first mentioned in the Guild action plan in which the education, along with communications and belfry stewardship, were to be key projects over 2015-18.
I quote the relevant part of the action plan,
“Encourage districts to be more flexible in their ringing programmes – possibly encourage ringing hubs within a district but ensuring other towers are not forgotten or the help to them diminished”
And you will see that the minutes of the March 2016 Executive meeting show that the “setting up of a working group… to consider the provision of centre(s) for teaching new ringers”.
Wanting further clarification on what was being envisaged by our previous Master, I asked Viv what she wanted from the setup.
She said, “To encourage… ringing and the cultivation of change ringing by increasing the number of proficient ringers across the Guild”.
It was clear that the group had a broad remit. The initial purpose of the working group is to investigate (and introduce, if necessary) the possibility of teaching schools within the Guild.
The working group met on 15 June to discuss the aims, possible types of model, syllabus and hardware.
Further discussion by the group is needed, and I very much regret that more discussion has not taken place. That said, I believe the group is in agreement with the following.
- The training will focus on teaching safe and consistent bell handling up to rounds standard, and further into elementary change ringing as students progress. The group acknowledged that various factors needed to be considered between where teaching was most needed, versus a supply of good teachers, and the potential availability of good training facilities.
- Various types of models to be used were suggested, from intensive holiday courses, to weekly evening courses. It was felt that a Saturday morning (roughly 10-12 o’clock) would probably be the most popular for students and teachers.
- A charge per student per session was considered appropriate, which would be used to cover tower donations and course material. Various “rewards” for learners at set stages should also be able to be supported by this charge.
- In setting up a teaching centre, various costs will be incurred, and sought from the Guild. There could be initial costs in setting up a venue as a suitable venue and as such, a budget submission will be made to the Guild for its approval to cover certain envisaged costs, and the risk of any shortfall.
- Further discussion is needed to be had on the syllabus, but it was
considered that Learning the Ropes schemes (levels 1 and 2) provides students and teachers were clear goals and would provide a consistent, graded approach which can be easily adopted in different areas.
- The group considered that good teaching venues would have (amongst other things):
bells that can be regularly available
space for teaching and/or whiteboard area
As mentioned earlier, there is much further discussion to be had before a submission is formally made to the Guild both for approval of any ringing centre(s), and any budget but hopefully this summary of discussion has been useful.