Open Consultation Community Feedback on Recommended Practice

Overall Feedback on Recommended Practice

  • “As Coder Dojo goes global it is important to ensure a basic/ baseline standard for what is expected running a Dojo.”
  • “CD is an organic organisation but the guidelines allow everyone involved to take risks knowing they are protected within the agreed practice guidelines.”
  • “It has a corporate feel and goes completely against the idea of CoderDojo has just one rule: “Above All: Be Cool””
  • “I agree, we see that the movement is growing very quickly and simple things like information on a new dojo setup would have been so beneficial to us at the start. Also as a group I think the CoderDojo movement can be very strong in procuring deals that will help each individual dojo. We also need to have guidance and documentation around child welfare within the individual dojos. Could there be something done around child welfare officer training and first aid training.”
  • “Great as so needed. I was at the stage of pulling out and rebranding because of concerns on child protection. Biggest challenge facing group at moment.”
  • “I think the principles are necessary but the recommended practices – given in a top-down command-and-control fashion flies in the face of what I believed CoderDojo was about.”
  • “There would be no point in becoming a Dojo otherwise. You can always set up your own activity if you do not wish to abide by the Recommended Practice.”

Feedback on Individual Principles

P1, Child Protection:

  • “Absolutely agree. Safeguarding and knowledge of it protects adults and children alike”
  • “Doesn’t go far enough. Child protection policies & practices need to be explicitly stated. Can’t leave it up to mentor’s own ideas on what’s appropriate as everyone will differ.”
  • “I would dislike if this will be made very formal.”
  • “This is fundamental to any work with kids.”

P2, Creating a Safe Space:

  • “This is fundamental to the success of the Dojo and creates an environment where kids can be creative, learn and be their best.”
  • “In my country there has been instances of child kidnapping, so I’m committed to providing a safe space to ensure the risk of this happening is as low as I can make it.”
  • “Basic to every under age organisation from scouts to rowing club”
  • “Children need a suitably safe place to feel comfortable and able to express themselves.”
  • “Should insurance be explicit in this principle?”

P3, Ethos:

  • “There are many coding type clubs. The ethos of CoderDojo sets it apart and gives it a USP.”
  • “This is what makes it unique.”
  • “To ensure consistency and to support the brand.”
  • “The ethos is one of the founding characteristics of CoderDojo, any new Dojo should be carrying on this ethos.”

P4, Communication and Review:

  • “Communication is essential for new and established dojos alike. as a new champion I need clear lines of communication for support.”
  • “Need to make this as least onerous as possible.”
  • “Yes I agree with this, I think up to now although being under the CoderDojo banner that a lot of the setup and practices have now been clearly define and it is a best effort for us to get the information needed and define practices within our Dojo. It will be great to work, communicate and contribute as part of a wider community.”

P5, Data Protection:

  • “It is a basic entitlement”
  • “Just basic to any organisation”
  • “This aligns with providing a safe space and safeguarding children.”
  • “I think this should be rolled under “child safety” / “safe space” – frankly probably all one principle.”

Feedback on Compliance & Willingness to Meet RP

  • “The process of getting Garda approval in Ireland seems to be a long one, and may frustrate people.”
  • “I am very uncomfortable with the strict compliance monitoring that transpires from the document. Would we be able to exist as a dojo if we do not provide insurance forms and such? We are a very small Dojo (<10 pupils) with me as the sole volunteer so adding paperwork would kill it.”
  • “Lots of people involved are transient, so there has to be something to act as the glue for everyone to stick around.”
  • “I think we need a community based approach for compliance – otherwise I’m going to have to ask that CD/HWF pay to provide me with Dojo specific legal advice to help me ensure I am compliant.”
  • “Provides some guidance which helps but needs to be more specific to be of real benefit…Remove the phrases that implies optional!”
  • “I am not willing to sign my name to any document that requires legal compliance for data / building / child safety without legal advice or some kind of “safe harbour” / indemnification agreement.”
  • “Will be great to have a voice and contribute/ help in the running and development of the CoderDojo movement.”

Going forward and clarifications based on feedback

  • RP is not a legally binding agreement between a Dojo Champion and the Foundation, it is a set of principles that we will recommend Dojos meet and confirm they are in agreement with.
  • We understand that Champions have concerns about signing a document without seeking legal counsel. We will review how we will ask Dojos to confirm they are in agreement with RP.
  • The Foundation will do its upmost to ensure that meeting RP is as streamlined and workload minimal as possible. All documents/policies/specs etc. referenced in Recommended Practice will be provided by the Foundation in digital, editable formats for Champions and mentors to review and use.
  • CoderDojo is fundamentally based the principle that it is free and accessible for all young people around the world. This is not going to change with the introduction of Recommended Practice. Open Consultation will be closing on the 13th of July 2014. If you wish for your voice to be considered in the shaping of Recommended Practice we would urge you to have your say through submitting your thoughts via the feedback form before this date.


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Chioma Okwudiafor says

The Recommended practice document is an all important tool in regulating the functioning of dojos around the world. I think the document addresses all the points needed to create safe, friencdly environments where kids can have fun, innovate and above all, explore their creativity to the max!