Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

For discussions within the Cycle Training profession.
Tony1968
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Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby Tony1968 » 15 Apr 2011, 2:34pm

My eldest is in year 5 and due to a lack of interest from year 6 pupils (or their parents?) her class have been offered places on the cycle training next month.

Trouble is they don't do National Standards, just Cycling Proficiency run by Capita Symonds.

It's a free course (well, we'd have to buy a helmet!) and she's pretty good on the road so even if she doesn't gain anything it could be a fun activity after school.

Up to now the only training she's had has come from me, using Cyclecraft as a guide to best practice and to avoid passing on my own bad habits. I understand that CP still teaches things like riding in the gutter, waiting on the left to turn right etc. that are at odds with modern thinking and am worried that the course could do more harm than good.

I took my CP in the 1970s, I've read Cyclecraft and considered becoming an instructor a couple of years ago but that's the limit of my knowledge of how the systems compare.

Any thoughts?

Vorpal
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby Vorpal » 16 Apr 2011, 11:48pm

If my child was offered 'cycle proficiency' I would
a) get the facts about the curiculum (do they still teach gutter riding?)
b) if necessary, let the school know I had some concerns about it, and
c) ask if they have plans in place to have the instructor trained / certified to deliver National Standards Cycle Training

Some of the school-based cycle proficiency courses are essentially the same as National Standards Cycle Training Level 1. Others use the same old system because they haven't been given any incentive to change.

It can't hurt to make a bit of noise about it, in any case.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Tony1968
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby Tony1968 » 18 Apr 2011, 2:24pm

Thanks.

It's not run directly by the school. They use Monmouthshire Council's preferred supplier, a consultancy firm called "Capita Symonds" as part of the outsourcing of road safety. Two years ago I tried to discuss National Standards training with them as I was interested in becoming an instructor and wanted to know if they'd be providing NS training to schools. First they explained that they already did offer Cycling proficiency and sent me a brochure, eventually I got them to understand I was talking about a different scheme and they passed my contact details onto a training company so I suspect it's not. I'll try to ask them directly again but doubt I'll get much sense.

I have let the School know my concerns and asked them to explain why they're not offering proper training. I imagine that unless someone in the school is into cycling they still think CP is training so when that's on offer from the council they don't question it. We now have 2 weeks of holidays and the course starts 2 days after their return so I doubt I'll get an answer in time.

Given that the training is provided by a private company I shouldn't think there is any incentive to modernise. As long as the council keep giving them my taxes to provide something that ticks a box it would be silly to increase their costs for providing it.

Vorpal
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby Vorpal » 18 Apr 2011, 10:38pm

Theoretically, Monmouthshire should be following the Welsh national policy, which should follow DfT guidelines (i.e. National Standards Cycle Training). Unfortunately, most of the information that is readily available is dated because of the demise of Cycling England (and past poor upkeep of the Bikeability & CTC sites :roll: ), and I don't know how the National Standards were meant to be managed in Wales. Capita Symonds are a large consulting company and should have knowledge and awareness of Bikeability. I'd be surprised if they haven't obtained accreditation to National Standards.

I might try contacting Capita Symonds directly. After that, the CTC head office? They might be able to tell what Monmouthshire are meant to be doing, anyway.

I can imagine that most people wouldn't go to the effort that I would, though 8)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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meic
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby meic » 18 Apr 2011, 11:27pm

I dont know what has given you the idea that Wales follows any standards.
Carmarthenshire still trots out the riding around parked cars as a three turn manoeuvre, with an overall emphasis on the good old fashioned "dont inconvenience cars with your presence and if you have a helmet , you pass the test" philosophy.

Apart from that, I suggest that Tony sends a Private Message to forum user Beicio as she is the Wales CTC cycle training expert official.
Yma o Hyd

Vorpal
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby Vorpal » 20 Apr 2011, 8:47am

meic wrote:I dont know what has given you the idea that Wales follows any standards.
Carmarthenshire still trots out the riding around parked cars as a three turn manoeuvre, with an overall emphasis on the good old fashioned "dont inconvenience cars with your presence and if you have a helmet , you pass the test" philosophy.

Apart from that, I suggest that Tony sends a Private Message to forum user Beicio as she is the Wales CTC cycle training expert official.


I did say theoretically :wink:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

stork
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby stork » 9 Jul 2011, 7:54pm

Looks like I might be facing the same problem (in a few years' time, but I have no confidence in my local authority to adopt the National Standard by then).

The County offers old-school 'proficiency' (more like deficiency, i.e. ride in the gutter and so on). However, the districts seem to offer Bikeability instead. So I guess it's a lottery as to which school you're at, and which scheme they use.

If 'proficiency' were offered at my children's school, I would not take up the offer (and I would try to persuade the school to use Bikeability instead, and send them to Bikeability training at my own expense).

John Holiday
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby John Holiday » 10 Jul 2011, 10:01am

WAG does encourage & pay for Cycle Training, but how the individual Authorities provide it varies from county to county,& often the funds get'syphoned off' for other things! As far as I am aware,as National standards Instructor, they will all be working to National Standards,certainly in North Wales.In Flintshire the LA Road Safety Dept. are responsible & we work for them,but other authorities buy in the service from specialist training providers.
From a Conference that was held in Lladrindod last year, it was suprising how much variation in interpretation of 'Standards' there was.

Vorpal
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Re: Cycling Proficiency - Can't do any harm?

Postby Vorpal » 10 Jul 2011, 2:53pm

I've recently heard that central government will no longer provide funding for any cycle training that isn't to national standards. On that basis, cycle proficiency instructors who work for LAs 'round here are all getting sent to National Standards Instructor training.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom