13 September 2007
The programme development is well underway now. We gathered a huge number of ideas through the consultation phase, which were all put into a massive Excel spreadsheet. There was then a process of whittling down by senior managers and our planning manager to get down to a manageable number of programme types. This was very hard work and at times we needed to get out of the Museum just to concentrate. What became clear was that if we were serious about digital programmes (which we are due to the excellent new facilities in the Digital Studio and throughout the Centre) then we needed to look at the staffing structure of the Learning and Interpretation Division. We also wanted to embed diversity into our core programmes and make them more accessible rather than running parallel programmes aimed at 'hard to reach' audiences. It was, however, with some trepidation that we embarked on a process or restructuring. Such major change is always unsettling however much people support the ideas behind it, which in this case they do seem to.
The restructure was announced a month ago and we are still working through all the ramifications of exactly what people's new roles and responsibilities will be. The old structure had a Learning Section comprising three educator teams (Families and Young People, Formal Education, and Adult Learning). The Access Social Inclusion and Community Development Section had two teams: one for Cultural Diversity and one for Social Inclusion, which included the Museum's Access Officer. The new structure has taken three key diversity staff and formed them into a strategy group to take forward access and inclusion issues across the Museum as well as within our educational programmes. There is now a Learning Programmes Section of two teams: Schools, Families and Young People; and Adults, Students and Creative Industries. Each of these has some access and diversity staff seconded to it. We have then created a new Digital Programmes team from existing staff with appropriate skills.
The challenge now is to get through the 'storming' phase of team building while at the same time producing the first year's programme by 12 October 2007. Watch this space…!