Good ideas, which require a lot of work, and inevitably carry some anxieties and risks, need to be cared for like fragile seedlings. They can be trampled on by the unaware as much as they can wither from neglect. I think it is in human nature to be suspicious of new ideas and to be passively obstructive (if not worse) if we feel nothing has been explained, we have been unable to comment or contribute, in short things have just been imposed on us - even good things!
For these reasons, as well as for practical organisational reasons, it is important that all of those whose goodwill we will need to make the venture a success are consulted as early as possible in the process. There are often tight deadlines, of course, and if the training doesn't happen on the given date then it can't happen because all of that year will then be on Study Leave/in France/sitting exams/performing in a play, etc. But we still consult, and what we can't learn and adapt from feedback this time will be there for next time.
A sensible expectation is that a senior teacher "looking after" the scheme will be present at all or most of the training sessions and will be responsible for co-ordinating its operation in school, including support and supervision for the students. A second person at a management level in the school or college will normally take care of the general management and finance questions, in consultation with The Head or Principal.
Practicalities will involve:
- Staff Briefings - and there may be some staff who will want to have some involvement, active or as participant-observers. Staff can also help to solve familiar problems about the Project's use of rooms, as well as (on rare occasions) discreetly releasing students from class (in practice most activities will be during lunchtime or after classes finish).
- Governors including Parent-Governors. Peer Support can be an agenda item for discussion.
- Professionals in regular contact with the school/college, e.g. the Educational Psychologist, School Nurse, Education Welfare Officer, Special Needs Support Service, should be kept aware of the project and possibly invited to contribute within their area of expertise.
- Parents/Carers of students under 16 participating in the scheme should have a letter that briefly explains its purposes and any practical implications, such as dates when they will be in school for training later than usual. Equally parents of students in those years which may be offered the service should receive information.