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Thread: Training Moan

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I think that the distinction between Assistant Leader and Leader in the appointment and training system is unnecessary.

    I think it would be much more flexible if people where just Appointed as a "Scout Leader" (note: not a Beaver/Cub or Scout Leader). When I say Appointed, I mean the formal Appointment process.

    Once Appointed to the "Scout Leader" appointment it should then be up to the GSL to decide which role within the Group that a Leader performs.

    All "Scout Leaders" should undertake the same training.

    I say this because I have been working to get the leaders in my Group to see themselves as members of our Group, not members of their Beaver/Cub/Scout Section and to feel that they can regularly move between Sections as they want to. The need to send them back to Appointments just so that they can move from being an Assistant Beaver Leader to an Assistant Cub Leader is an obsticle and why does anyone at HQ care if Bob is currently Leading at Wednesday Cubs rather than Friday Beavers.

    The current system also works against the idea of a team running a section. In some cases I have a team of 5 people running a Section. Any individual night has a Leader-in-charge, but it may be a different leader each week. The idea that all of those people have to be Assistant Leaders is daft. The distinction between Assistant Leader and Leader Appointments just gets in the way.

    Who the kids think is "Akela" or "Skip" does not need to be linked to formal POR Appointment.

    We have far too many different roles.
    unless I have misread there is nothing stopping you having 5 Section leaders appointed and recorded per section, rather than 1 section leader and 4 assistants. I appreciate that this doesn't resolve your first suggestion.

  2. #62
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I think that the distinction between Assistant Leader and Leader in the appointment and training system is unnecessary.
    Whereas I don't and I actually think insisting on Asstant Leaders doing all the same training as Section Assistants is unnessessary and puts people off from being Assistant Leders as opposed to Section Assistants. As a GSL I find it very useful and works best to have one person clearly in charge of and responsible for a Section however much they then choose to delegate to their Assistants is up to them. So I know who to talk to/email about a Section if I need to and they know they are responsible for the overall Section Programme.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  3. #63
    Senior Member Airobat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I don't know why with new leaders, they don't have anything place along the lines of shadowing other existing leaders.
    As a TA, I don't care how new leaders gain the required knowledge/skill level. They can go on a course, use eLearning, have prior experience, learn from other leaders, be transfused with alien DNA or whatever. When I sit down with them to validate, all they have to do is leave me with a feeling that they're within shouting distance of the validation requirements and that's pretty much the way that all the TAs in my District work. Is this radical? No! It's what it says in the training manual (apart from the alien DNA ).
    I accept that around the country. there are training failings and these are immensely frustrating. I also accept that shadowing leaders is actually the way that the majority of learning actually happens. BUT, I have to also say that over the years, I've had to correct some stupid, wrong and at times downright dangerous practices/information that have been passed on by experienced leaders.
    Is there a form of training that will satisfy everybody? I very much doubt it. Training in general is regarded as a damn nuisance that takes time away from 'real' Scouting.
    Is the current training fit for purpose? Some of it is, some maybe less so but if the attitude that it's approached with is 'waste of time/space' then you don't get anything out of it. I ran a getting started course a few weeks ago. The team have worked hard to take on board the feedback over the past few years and massage the course into something that is perceived as having value (while still covering the requirements of course) and we rejoiced when we had feedback that said "I didn't expect to get anything out of the course but I've learned quite a lot and made some good contacts".
    I'm going to stop ranting now and finish cleaning my car out after camp

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Whereas I don't and I actually think insisting on Asstant Leaders doing all the same training as Section Assistants is unnessessary and puts people off from being Assistant Leders as opposed to Section Assistants. As a GSL I find it very useful and works best to have one person clearly in charge of and responsible for a Section however much they then choose to delegate to their Assistants is up to them. So I know who to talk to/email about a Section if I need to and they know they are responsible for the overall Section Programme.
    Do you mean Assistant Leaders doing the same training as Section Leaders? If so I entirely agree.

    Either hippysurfer's approach or lessening the Assistant Leader training obligations to somewhere between Section Leader and Section Assistant would be a move in the right direction. And whilst we're at it can we also look at the titles? The Section Assistant and Assistant Section Leader titles being so similar but with so much difference in training obligations is, in my experience, confusing and off-putting for new volunteers.
    James

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    Do you mean Assistant Leaders doing the same training as Section Leaders? If so I entirely agree.

    Either hippysurfer's approach or lessening the Assistant Leader training obligations to somewhere between Section Leader and Section Assistant would be a move in the right direction. And whilst we're at it can we also look at the titles? The Section Assistant and Assistant Section Leader titles being so similar but with so much difference in training obligations is, in my experience, confusing and off-putting for new volunteers.
    I'd probably be inclined to:
    - Reduce A*L training to a more sensible level reflecting that they effectively work under the supervision of a *L. The entire training set for this role should not exceed one weekend plus one validation project (be that in one go, over evenings or online or a combination thereof).
    - Abolish SA
    - Make OH into an actual role and require Module 1, Safety and Safeguarding and possibly GDPR for it. These should be rolled into a single online course to be done at the start and at 5 yearly intervals.

    I think this would better reflect what people are doing.

  8. #66
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    - Make OH into an actual role and require Module 1, Safety and Safeguarding and possibly GDPR for it. These should be rolled into a single online course to be done at the start and at 5 yearly intervals.
    Then have another role
    - Not sure if it's quite legal but we better get a DBS anyway. For parents on family camp.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Then have another role
    - Not sure if it's quite legal but we better get a DBS anyway. For parents on family camp.
    No, use OH for that. As it's likely they will help out and interact with other parents' YP on a family camp, I see no logical reason they should not do Safeguarding as an absolute minimum.

  10. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I think that the distinction between Assistant Leader and Leader in the appointment and training system is unnecessary.

    I think it would be much more flexible if people where just Appointed as a "Scout Leader" (note: not a Beaver/Cub or Scout Leader). When I say Appointed, I mean the formal Appointment process.

    Once Appointed to the "Scout Leader" appointment it should then be up to the GSL to decide which role within the Group that a Leader performs.

    All "Scout Leaders" should undertake the same training.

    I say this because I have been working to get the leaders in my Group to see themselves as members of our Group, not members of their Beaver/Cub/Scout Section and to feel that they can regularly move between Sections as they want to. The need to send them back to Appointments just so that they can move from being an Assistant Beaver Leader to an Assistant Cub Leader is an obsticle and why does anyone at HQ care if Bob is currently Leading at Wednesday Cubs rather than Friday Beavers.

    The current system also works against the idea of a team running a section. In some cases I have a team of 5 people running a Section. Any individual night has a Leader-in-charge, but it may be a different leader each week. The idea that all of those people have to be Assistant Leaders is daft. The distinction between Assistant Leader and Leader Appointments just gets in the way.

    Who the kids think is "Akela" or "Skip" does not need to be linked to formal POR Appointment.

    We have far too many different roles.
    I like this idea. Not sure about going as far as swapping leaders between sections though, we've had issues in the past when a cub leader has moved up to Scouts, it didn't go down well at all with Scouts. That said, that was the leader not listening, not any structure of the SA.

    I do like the idea of a leader team though, I think that's probably a more modern approach and would play well with young people too. I also think if we're recruiting, it might actually make it easier if we can say, the burden of organisation doesn't lie with the person you're trying to recruit.

    They'd all have a basic level of training - up to running a section night, trips out etc. But each could specialise in different areas - for nights away etc. (I still think camping should be a minimum requirement of any leader, but realise that might be impractical given how we now get leaders.)

    I think any section night volunteer (for scouts anyway) should be able to do all the basic scouting stuff, use an axe, saw and knife, tie at least some knots and put a tent up.

  11. #69
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I have always used a Leader team and we often swapped sections and supported each other's sections. Nowadays I am Group Leader because the Charity Commission requires that we have a Group leader, otherwise we all have the same role. I just tend to be out front most of the time.
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I have always used a Leader team and we often swapped sections and supported each other's sections. Nowadays I am Group Leader because the Charity Commission requires that we have a Group leader, otherwise we all have the same role. I just tend to be out front most of the time.
    The truly flat leader team can work very well. I've written before of the Beaver colony we have with 5 ABSL's. Not one is the overall leader. One sorts programme, one parent liason, one awards and OSM, one weekend events, one does group liaison. Of course they all pitch in to weekly meeting and and weekend events. In practice there's churn too, often a leader will go to Cubs when their offspring goes. But overall it works very well indeed and has done for several years. I think you need that culture first, in many groups it's just impossible for every leader to accept the position that all are equal and usually one will come to the fore - whether wanted or not !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    - Make OH into an actual role and require Module 1, S afety and Safeguarding and possibly GDPR for it. These should be rolled into a single online course to be done at the start and at 5 yearly intervals.
    I currently have 190 OH's. I don't fancy getting them all through Module 1, S afety, Safeguarding and GDPR

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    As a GSL I find it very useful and works best to have one person clearly in charge of and responsible for a Section however much they then choose to delegate to their Assistants is up to them. So I know who to talk to/email about a Section if I need to and they know they are responsible for the overall Section Programme.
    I agree. It it is better to have one person in charge if at all possible. But it is not always possible to find that one person. So, sometimes a team is the only option. (Note: I always tell the "team" that they must nominate one person to the Leader-In-Charge at any given meeting)

    My point is not that one structure or another is better. My point was that it should be possible for the GSL (along with the rest of the "Group Leaders") to be able to make decisions over the structure of the Leadership hierachy (or lack thereof) within a Grioup. It should not need to go back to the Appointment Process every time there is a small change (like moving someone from Beavers to Cubs etc.).

    I would advocate a flat form Appointments structure (i.e. you just have "Scout Leader" on Compass - meaning someone that has been appointed to volunteer in Sections with the kids) and leave the rest of the wiring diagram to GSLs.

    I don't understand why we label someone as an "Assistant Beaver Scout Leader". I understand that the training has a small element about understand the age group that you are going to work with, but I am not sure that it is really very useful.

    In my experience, what happens on the ground is that Leaders will move from one section to another at some point, often with a nod from the GSL. Then a few months/years down the line someone will notice that they have been volnteering in Cubs for 2 years but there appointment says "Beavers". A quick email to the Appointments Secretary and the DC (followed by a phone call to stop the inevitable call for them to attend an "interview") and their appointment gets changed on the Compass. In practical terms the distinction between the "Assistant Beaver Leader" and "Assistant Cub Leader" has just added to everyone's work load - but achieved nothing.

    Equally, I now have many Assistant Section Leaders that have completed their Wood Badge. They are just as qualified as the "Section Leaders", so why is their formal Appointment different? The kids don't care. I have one Section where the person that "stands at the front" (i.e. the one that every considers to be the "Section Leader") actually has a "Assistant" appointment. He has his Wood Badge, but no-one has found the time to go back to Appointments to get the role changed. Why? Because it makes no difference. So why have the distinction?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    As a GSL I find it very useful and works best to have one person clearly in charge of and responsible for a Section however much they then choose to delegate to their Assistants is up to them. So I know who to talk to/email about a Section if I need to and they know they are responsible for the overall Section Programme.
    You don't need a single leader in charge for that, you just need a nominated leader to handle any communications with the GSL.

    The make up of a section's leader team should suit the leaders of that section and the members of it, not the GSL.

  18. #74
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    You don't need a single leader in charge for that, you just need a nominated leader to handle any communications with the GSL.
    I don't need to just communicate with them I need them to be able to implement whatever we agree which means they need the authority to agree something not have the other 4 Section Leaders start a debate with them about what has been agreed "why are we doing it this way?, why are we doing that on that date?, why don't we do x instead?etc etc". I am not having a 6 way conversation just to get something agreed. I think two Leaders sharing a Section Leader role might just about be manageable, anything more than that I don't think I would find workable.

    As I say Section Leaders are free to delegaate as much as they like and on a meeting night it may well be an Assistant Section Leader is in charge of the night's main programme. I am not asking for one person to do it all just to be the Leader of the team of Leaders. Works well for us in our Group anyway and we have two Section Leaders in their 20s, the other section Leader in their 40s and a GSL in their 30s with the two younger ones having been recruited in the last 2 years so and me taking on GSL in the last year so and we have appointed these people on this basis which they are happy with.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    I don't need to just communicate with them I need them to be able to implement whatever we agree which means they need the authority to agree something not have the other 4 Section Leaders start a debate with them about what has been agreed
    .
    I think this is a good point. When my son was invested as a Beaver I found it quite frustrating as the Beavers were all "milling around" and none of the team of Assistant Leaders seemed prepared to start the ceremony. They all seemed to be waiting for someone else to do it. I felt that if there was an actual BSL then they would have known that it was their role to do this.

    I tend to work in small teams at work and we all get on and sort stuff out but I know that - because of my "grade" - I have a certain responsibility to make sure that it all happens or sometimes it's myself and a colleague who have that responsibility.

    In an ideal world a "team of equals" can work well. I just feel that sometimes it doesn't and it's useful to know who is responsible for sorting stuff out.

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