MOTION (B) To setup a Guild Ringing Schools Committee

Motion (B)

Andy Ingram proposes and Mike Winterbourne seconds that a Guild Ringing Schools Committee should be setup.

Throughout this process the terms Teaching Schools, Hubs, Ringing Schools have been used at various times but all are inter-changeable.

Background to the Project

From the ACTION PLAN REVIEW AGREED AT THE 2015 A.G.M – PERIOD 5TH JULY 2015 – 2ND JULY 2016 (Part):-

In addition, a focus group has been established recently; the initial purpose has been to investigate and introduce if necessary, the possibility of teaching schools within our Guild. The group is financially and administratively separate from other Guild committees. It will act harmoniously with them, of course.  The group will report to the Executive Committee later in 2016 and might require some funding.

In response to this the March 2016 Executive meeting agreed to the “setting up of a working group … to consider the provision of centre(s) for teaching new ringers”.

Further clarification was given by the Past-Master (Viv Nobbs) as to what she had envisaged to be the outcome of this project:

“To encourage … ringing and the cultivation of change ringing by increasing the number of proficient ringers across the Guild”.

Stage 1 – Teaching Schools Model

Although this was a broad remit the initial purpose of the working group was defined to investigate (and introduce, if necessary) the possibility of teaching schools within the Guild.  The working group discussed the projects aims, possible types of model, syllabus and hardware and was generally in agreement with the following aspects of :

  1. Training should 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.
  2. Various types of models to be used were discussed, from intensive term- holiday courses, to weekly evening courses. Saturday mornings (roughly 10-12 o’clock) would probably be the most popular for students and teachers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Further discussion is needed to be had on the syllabus, but it was considered that the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) ‘Learning the Ropes’ schemes (levels 1 and 2) provides students and teachers with clear goals and would provide a consistent, graded approach which can be easily adopted in different areas.
  6. 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
  • refreshment facilities
  • toilets

The Chairman of this focus group, David Mattingley, presented a paper based on the above to the Executive Committee Meeting, 12 November, 2016.  This concluded the work of this working group other than defining the terms of reference for the Ringing Schools Committee.

Stage 2 – Implementation

It is proposed to create a committee, Ringing Schools Committee, to create and manage the teaching facilities described above.

Although independent it would work with the Education Committee concerning matters of mutual interest (this reflects the Central Council arrangement of separate Education and Ringing Centres Committees whereby the latter provides hardware and trainers, the former provides training material and courses).

Terms of reference: “To teach members’ bell-handling to a good and safe standard”

Initially the work of this committee will be to investigate viable sites for Ringing Schools with budgets for additional equipment and to prioritise those sites which would be relatively easy to set up.  Availability of trainers will also be a consideration.

A progressive implementation of Schools is envisaged subject to budget constraints and  availability of Committee members time.

Once Schools are established the Committee will be responsible for promotion and support (as required) of the Schools so that they can maintain high standards of tuition together with dissemination of good practice throughout the Guild.

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