LEA Awards 2006 title

(Supported by the Department for Education and Skills, in association with
the Music Education Council, the PRS Foundation and Jazz Services)


Major Trophy

Earlier this year East Ayrshire celebrated their tenth anniversary as an education authority, though as far as music education is concerned, and on the evidence of this and past submissions, no excuse was needed to celebrate the joy that can be part of music making. Yet it is always good to have reason to commission new works especially when they result in a successful big band composition which incorporated the dissonances of contemporary ‘classical’ music, Kenny Wheeler type voicings, salsa rhythms and licks coming straight out of Scottish traditional tunes; a major choral work for the senior and intermediate choirs and brass band which drew on local history and linked to the present day; and a commemorative piece for wind band

East Ayrshire

A successful YMI bid resulted in both development and growth of instrumental provision for strings, percussion and guitars and of vocal instruction and a summer school programme lead by East Ayrshire tutors and visiting musicians from Scottish Opera and Strathclyde University Jazz School covering most instruments and several genres. All that was but the tip of the YMI iceberg. There was also a great deal of cross-arts activity involving a high proportion of the Authority’s primary and secondary schools.

East Ayrshire

Opportunities to tap the resources of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra were taken and a tour of six primary schools by a Russian folk ensemble, who were also educators, benefited both pupils and staff. It is of course conducive to high level engagement in music making for there to be an established policy, as in East Ayrshire, of not charging for any music activity in or out of school and also of providing free instrument hire and transport to all rehearsals and concerts. And further stimulation was provided by a long list of collaborations with good quality professional musicians and artists. Joint working with nine other Scottish education authorities was another praiseworthy feature of the year as was the comprehensive range of INSET opportunities.

Prominent among Diploma winners each year of this century has been Southampton. To have registered such a consistently high standard is remarkable. Yet this award of the major trophy is in recognition not solely of that record, but also of another splendid submission. For eight years running the number of pupils and students learning to play a musical instrument increased; in 2005/06 it stood at 13 per cent of the school population – as high as we have come across.


Two projects, originally set up in 2002, had matured sufficiently to merit the description “outstanding” by OfSTED in 2005/06. The first as part of the WCVIT programme was a drumming project for pupils in five schools in significantly disadvantaged areas of the City. The second, in very similar settings, was for 0-5 year olds and designed to develop a focussed relationship between music education and the development of languages, maths and social skills in the foundation years.


The Music Service launched an Academy for Popular Music to enable the very best pop and rock students aged between 14-16 to achieve their full potential, to enrich the music curriculum in secondary schools and to inspire more young people to become musicians. 44 per cent of the schools were engaged with the WCVIT programme and the Music Service was on target for 95 per cent by the end of 2007. Thus far every school had stayed with the programme and virtually the full range of instruments had been made available. In previous years we have paid tribute to Southampton’s very sensitive, committed approach to meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs. We do so again.

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