As promised I have just recieved the report of the working group ,set up to examine this proposal.For security and data protection reasons I could not scan the report and post it on here .Names and information which could be used to identify people and locations have been removed.But apart from that the report is complete and word perfect.
john (Assocition spokesperson ) asked us each individually would we mind getting involved in a working group .Each person on the group was selected due to their experience in working in professions which are relevant to the subject.
We all agreed and over the course of the Spring ,Summer we met up in selected local inns throughout Derbshire to discuss and debate the proposal.Many thanks to the landlords of the (censored ) for allowing us to us their wifi and the use of tables .Sorry we did more talking than drinking !
john had asked us to discuss a proposal which was part of the Association ideas and suggestion scheme,which was approved by the members .Due to the seriousness and complexity it was decided to establish a working group to examine the proposal in detail.
Many traditional outdoor hobbies are suffering in Derbyshire ,if you go about especially in recent years ,it is quite noticable the reductions in numbers of participants in what were considered traditionally strong hobbies in the county.The numbers of people taking part in Fishing,Bowling,Train&Bus Spotting, Pigeon Racing,Orienteering ,Amateur Archaeology and Historical societies are reducing and quite a number of clubs in these various hobbies have ceased to exist.Also the age profile of the people taking part in these activities is increasing with very few young people taking their place.Alternatively the growth and rise in numbers of participants in cycling ,walking,geocaching ,RC model aeroplane flying ,dowsing and wild food harvesting has increased and in some hobbies has done so spectacularly.Metal Detecting in Derbyshire has thankfully held its own and is slowly increasing in participants but this cannot be garaunteed going forward into the future.
EXAMINATION OF THE PROPOSAL
Setting up and running
Yes it was felt by us all in this group that it was possible to set up a school scheme.The working group felt that it was not simply a case of buying a few detectors and giving them to the schools .To do this would be irresponsible ,expose children to risk and leave the association and schools open to the possibility of future historical litigation .We all felt that a proper scheme would need to be set up to run and safely maintain the scheme . However it would involve significant costs and personnel to set up and run the scheme.A full/part time manager would have to be employed to run and operate the scheme,liasing with the various schools ,to ensure that safe procedures were being followed ,and to produce and create written and audiovisual material complimentary for the scheme.A permanent management committee would have to be set up to over see the manager .Numerous HR Safegaurding and Safety policies would have to be established ,and this in itself is very expensive and time consuming.
The group also felt that the scheme would have to be set up as a stand alone scheme, where the material and equipment would be supplied and the programme would be run by the teachers .Many associations find it increasingly difficult to get volunteers and even volunteers from within their own organisation to run programmes as many people are risk averse .The working group did speak to several schools and they were quite receptive ,so long as the materials were checked didn’t require PAT procedure and were approved by them.
( Spokespersons note )
PAT is a legal requirement where equipment has to be annually checked for safety and safe running.It is quite a significant cost to schools.It mostly applies to mains powered equipment .As our detectors are very safe and battery powered PAT would not be required
On the matter of insurance most schools contacted said they participants would be covered by the schools own insurance policy.
It was noted that it would cost a significant amount of money to put one good metal detector in each school in Derbyshire
Beneficiaries of the scheme
Yes it was agreed by all that if such a scheme was set up and run correctly then the numbers taking part in the hobby would take a huge jump forward.It would not happen straight away but it would certainly be noticable after 10 years but it could create what one working group member described as a TIME TEAM EFFECT.
The best way to describe the Time Time Effect is to explain what happened when this great and lovely programme was first aired on Television.It was a quality programme which came out at the right time before people were all consumed by their phones and social media ,which captured the public imagination in archaeology.The problem was that the producers didn’t foresee what would happen when there was no society /club infrastructure to positively harness this enthusiasm.Most post millennial metal detectorists were inspired to go into metal detecting as a result of this programme ,but if they had the opportunity and the infrastructure was there . perhaps most might have gone into amateur archaeology instead !
The working group feels that this situation could happen again with our Schools Detecting Scheme and that Centurion clubs, rally organisers ,Pop up clubs ,Mega-Rallies and detector dealers who don’t support the hobby positively would benefit
(Spokespersons note. centurion club is a term used amongst ourselves to quickly identify metal detecting clubs and associations which have over 80 members )
The environment would significantly improve in areas where metal detecting is allowed for wildlife and people as so much heavy metals ,rubbish ,drug equipment would be removed
However the working group also felt that organisations and other groups which hold views contrary to our Association could benefit more than us.
Decision of the working group.
It is the working groups honest and collective professional opinion that for cost and outcome reasons that the association should not pursue the idea any further regarding the setting up of a schools metal detecting scheme for Derbyshire.Our small association has not got the money / volunteer commitment to set up and run such a scheme.It was felt that national metal detecting organisations would be better placed to start and run such a scheme as they have the resources we don’t have.
Recommendation of the working group
The group feels that a better and a more positive controlled outcome would be to encourage members to get their own grandchildren ,children involved and that when membership vacancies become available priority should be given to these young people to try and become members