One very good
reason why the work of Blackpool’s music
service so effectively supports curriculum delivery is that
90 per cent of the peripatetic staff have classroom teaching
qualifications. So, in addition to support for music-making,
reviewing of schemes of work, support for non-specialists,
NQTs and teaching assistants helping to monitor, assess and
report on pupils’ progress and being available by telephone
at all times (sic), that could be said to account for why all
the authority’s schools now use the music service! 58
per cent of schools were involved in WCIVT provision and all
the indications were that that proportion would rise to beyond
the initial period with brass and guitar tuition (violins were
less popular). Transition from year six to seven was facilitated
by continuation of the policy of offering all pupils a new
instrument on starting high school and development of an authority-wide
programme identifying secondary school destinations.
There were weekly rehearsals for 24 wind bands, six orchestras, 30
choirs, 20 pop groups, one staff choir, one SEN brass band and 33 “show
companies”. Apart from members of the show companies 20 per
cent of the school population rehearse in an ensemble training week.
Collaborative and partnership working with six other LEA music services
and over 20 arts and community organisations and professional ensembles
was a praiseworthy feature of the year.
East Ayrshire were the lead authority in a consortium
of education authorities across central Scotland working with the
Scottish Chamber Orchestra to introduce key repertoire to secondary
school students. Teacher CPD was a part of the YMI funded programme.
With NESTA funds interesting and potentially valuable action research
was conducted across eight special schools to investigate new musical
instrument development and implement a range of activities related
to music, movement, sensory awareness and general health. A cultural
exchange with schools in Northern Ireland with a singing and traditional
music focus was particularly successful as was an early years interactive
musical adventure with Scottish Opera: “Big Hairy Hamish, the
monster who cared” raised important environmental issues such
as re-cycling and healthy eating and involved 388 pupils both as contributors
Lower string tuition, having been identified as a gap in provision,
was significantly increased, leading to more pupils joining school
string and symphony orchestras as well as other authority-wide ensembles.
Collaborations and partnerships with an incredibly wide of music,
arts and public bodies was once again an outstanding feature of the
East Ayrshire music education scene as was the INSET and CPD provision.
Finally, we again commend the authority for maintaining their policy
of not charging for tuition or instrument hire and providing free
transport to rehearsals and concerts.
Given their generous funding of arts organisations, especially those
concerned with music, Edinburgh must have one of
the strongest cases for the title of arts capital of the UK. That
same spirit of generosity clearly influenced the policy of not charging
for tuition or participation in bands or ensembles of any description.
of five part-time neighbourhood music co-ordinators was responsible
for improved development of opportunities for instrumentalists who
were not yet part of City-wide bands or ensembles and for instrument
specific training. As well as an already commendably broad INSET programme,
the service had introduced a pilot professional review and development
programme for instrumental staff with an accompanying CPD framework.
A successful evaluation indicated significant and beneficial outcomes
for all aspects of the service.
Whilst it would be almost reprehensible if the authority did not
fully exploit its favoured position, we could not but be impressed
by the range of scope of the involvement with professional practitioners
within all the expressive arts. And we join with Jazz Services in
applauding the £33k contributed to the Edinburgh International
Jazz Festival and related education events.
The North Lanarkshire initiatives we commended in
our last report were sustained and indeed developed over the year;
and it almost goes without saying that the authority’s commitment
to meeting the INSET needs of their staff and to substantial delivery
of rock and traditional music education was in no way diminished either.
We were impressed by a “Music for All” project which was
accessed by seven special schools. The courses enabled young people
to experience and learn basic music concepts, to use music technology
and how to explore rock and pop. Collaborations and partnerships with
the RSNO, RSAMD, and Scottish Opera among several others enriched
much of provision throughout the authority. North Lanarkshire’s
policy of funding music education to the tune of £1.3m represents
a first class example of Scottish authorities’ commitment and
a powerful reason why over 19 per cent of the school population were
involved in weekly music activities provided by the music service.
Oxfordshire strengthened the student voice on the
music service’s governing body and extended the authority’s
music education group to embrace over 30 local musicians and organisations
committed to sharing resources and using them more efficiently to
reach more young people. The low percentage of schools involved in
WCIVT was being addressed directly with primary heads and through
increased funding and INSET. A range of measures ensured that parents
were involved in and informed of the tuition process. Attendance at
five INSET days continued to be the minimum contractual obligation.
A senior manager had designated responsibility for CPD.
The range and scope of opportunities for regular ensemble performance
across a wide spread of genres, and encompassing the full range of
abilities, with due regard to the importance of progression, continued
to be an outstanding feature of music education in the county. The
music service continued to build on its good record of meeting the
needs of pupils with SEN. Exceptionally, that provision was also being
developed in the “gifted and talented” context.
Southwark made a massive investment in the development
of the WCIVT programme. Thus 72 per cent of eligible schools were
involved; and 75 per cent of pupils continued beyond the initial programme.
Over 60 per cent of Southwark’s pupils were from African or
African-Caribbean heritage. On offer was singing from pupils’ own
cultures whether African, Caribbean, South American, European, Irish
or Asian; African drumming, a jazz programme, and, as a pilot for
one term, ocarinas for folk music and samba. There were innumerable
music technology developments over the year, much of which was designed
to support the WCIVT programmes. INSET provision was similarly favoured.
The authority’s proximity to major conservatoires and orchestras
and top performing arts organisations continued to be fully exploited;
and staffing levels in secondary schools, music centres and for WCIVT
increased over the year.
We were delighted to welcome back Warwickshire after
an absence of nearly ten years when they were awarded the
major trophy. They were yet another authority to
reorganise their music service with a radically different
staffing and management structure resulting in new area music
education teams designed to ensure by a major shift of funding
to less advantaged areas that the whole county had equal
access to music education. At the last reckoning, music service
provision reached over one third of the school population.
One of the first of the county services to be awarded Investors
in People status, the county music service (CMS) attributed
its success to the quality and effectiveness of its staff,
all of whom participated in regular self-evaluation and SWOT
analyses. So, what stands out in this submission? For the Panel the
- in the course of 2008 all primary schools will have ongoing WCIVT
as part of their normal CMS provision and without charge;
- dedicated staff to ensure expansion of contemporary and popular
music and music technology;
- successful expansion of choral initiatives and chamber music festivals;
- live music performances, all genres, by professional musicians
in all schools on at least one occasion in the year;
- developed intercultural/world musics work as a regular and integral
part of CMS provision and as part of curriculum studies;
- INSET similarly integrated with curriculum training;
- Music education funding for all eight county nursery schools;
- An exceptionally high commitment to provision for pupils with
SEN and/or disability, and an expansion of music therapy;
- Expansion of provision for adults.