District Structure Evolution

Due to the size of our joining list, currently 2% of the national waiting list numbers, we’ve been working with the Scout Association Regional Services Team for our area. With their guidance we discussed the challenges we faced, and decided that in order to support the Groups as they grow, we needed to grow the District Team to deliver the supporting functions like:

  • Training & Development support
  • Administrative Support
  • Fun and fabulous events
  • IT Services

This required a fundamental look at how we are structured now, and look at how we need to be structured for the future. Over the last three months, a very small working party was given the task to evaluate how other similar sized scouting entities were organised, understand why they had structured themselves in the manner they have, and see where elements of those structures could be tweaked to add benefit to Milton Keynes structure.

A PDF file of the images in this article can be downloaded from here.

First up is the Bottom Tier, The uniformed element of the District Team, with the District Commissioner as the centre point:

  Three Senior GSL’s for three administrative “Manors”






Deputy District Commissioners for:


Operations &  Growth
Programme (6-14)
Programme (14-25)
Events & AwardsAssistant District Commissioner – Activities


The diagram above highlights the importance of localised support through Senior Group Scout Leaders, but also the importance of training needs being considered as we grow our adult numbers.

As the Senior Group Scout Leaders are a new role, it’s important to understand that Milton Keynes geographically is huge. We are one of the biggest districts in the country, and our waiting to join list is unprecedented for a district. With this in mind, and the importance of de-centralising some of the functions the District Team perform we have divided Milton Keynes into three administrative “Manors”, the boundaries have been drawn from the joining list data and natural boundaries within Milton Keynes.

Monks Way(H3) and the A5 are prominent cut off points to travel in Milton Keynes, as the map below shows:


We’re seeing major growth demand in manors to the left and right of the A5, less so in the northern manor. These are not Districts, the District is not being split up, we’re dividing it into administrative areas to provide focused support and resources in those areas.

Group Support Structure

Senior Group Scout Leaders will lead the local Group Support structure, supporting the Group Scout  Leaders on a day-to-day basis.

The Senior Group Scout Leader will have an administrative assistant, to help support the manor, whether that’s Joining List, Office365 User Admin, OSM Support a first line of support for the Groups in the manor.


Localised training support to ensure that local training needs are addressed.

As demands on the Appointments Advisory Committee increase over time due to the increased throughput, there may be a consideration of reworking the way AAC is implemented, such as putting one in each manor.

MK-GroupSupport Localised recruitment support working with groups to identify needs, linking manors to the district machinery to pull in resources.
A long term plan to have section recruitment specialists to focus on specific needs.


An Active Support Unit per manor, to create a pool of parents who don’t want the regular commitment of leading, but who still want to help out,  to be available to support groups within the manor.




Managing the breadth of Assistant District Commissioners who support the delivery of the full 6-25 years of programme is a huge commitment, using a county model to divide that into two age ranges, 6-14 (Beavers, Cubs & Scouts) and 14-25 (Explorers, Young Leaders, Duke of Edinburg, and Queens Scout Award) will allow a greater degree of focused support on those programme areas. We’ve also added Assistant District Commissioner roles for Diversity & Inclusion, and International. As there is a number of international trips from some groups  across the district it is felt that an ADC with that expertise can help other groups, individually or collectively, to make the leap to international camping.

6-14 Programme supports Beavers, Cubs & Scouts, and associated district events. mk-programme 14-25 Programme supports the Explorers,  Young Leaders and the Top Awards programme
 Diversity & Inclusion is currently not something the district supports very well, this role is an important role to improve support for those with additional scouting needs, and engage with all communities across Milton Keynes, to ensure our activities are developed with inclusivity in mind, to embrace the diversity of Milton Keynes, and help communicate that scouting is for all, very much in line with the Scout Associations Diversity & Inclusion policy.


International is a new role, that is there to support those leaders who want to adventure abroad, whether that’s trips to Kanderstag International Scout Centre in the Alps, or visits to the battlefields and Last Post in Ypres. Supporting all groups offer such opportunities to their members.



Operations and Growth

Operations & Growth looks to support the current operational needs of the District, with important links into Training, Diversity & Inclusion, and incorporates the Media portfolio.


The media portfolio in coming months/years will become a very key focus, as we look to raise the profile and broaden the reach of our message.

This will be supported by an Active support unit dedicated to media support & production,

MK-OnG Adult Recruitment, Adult Support and the Waiting List Manager focus on the onboarding of new adults and supporting groups who engage with the Grow Your Group programme over the coming years.
 IT Operations looks after the Office365, Online Scout Manager and Website platforms that underpin some of the key growth and development activities as well as group operations.This is the first tranche of organisational changes, Quarries changes will be published on the Quarries website over the weekend of 27th April 2018, and we’ll publish further organisation charts over the weekend of the 27th April 2018, to further detail the changes to make the District more effective as it grows.



Just to re-iterate, this is the model we are aiming for, there are a lot of role descriptions to write, and roles may get broken down further into tasks to facilitate volunteers can do “This bit” but not “That bit”, as we’d rather have two people doing one role well, that one person struggling, or for the role to continue vacant for an extended time.

All the roles will be advertised on the https://volunteering.mkscouts.org/ website. Any enquiries or feedback should be sent to info@mkscouts.org.



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