LEA Awards 2007 title

(In association with the Music Education Council,
the PRS Foundation and Jazz Services)


The Honourable Mentions

We were pleased to learn that Barnet continue to be a well-staffed service, to encourage minority instrument tuition and to provide an admirably wide range of performance opportunities by means of a spread of ensembles in most genres, recently enhanced by increased tuition in popular music. It was good too to note new work alongside the youth and connexions services to involve young people not otherwise engaged in education, training or work. We look forward to a less self-effacing submission from Barnet, and one which includes funding information, next year!

Bolton’s commitment to WCIVT provision is notably successful with 50 per cent of schools involved and a 35 per cent continuation rate. We applaud the policy of customising provision and integrating both it and instrumental/vocal tuition in the curriculum; and providing appropriate INSET accordingly. Indeed, the range of instruments available in the WCIVT programme was exceptionally broad. Jazz Services commended the introduction of a jazz studies department lead by Richard Iles, and the fact that no fewer than five jazz ensembles involving over 90 students met on a weekly basis.

East Lothian.  The PRS Foundation’s handsome acknowledgement (see below) of this authority’s quite splendid achievements in creative music-making omits only to mention that size is not all. Thus East Lothian, with a school population of 13,000, only very slightly bigger than Stirling’s, deliver and support a spectacular range of activities.

Fife represent a good example of what has become typical of many Scottish authorities. Thus, whilst the YMI grant has supplied good thick icing, the cake is paid for by substantial education authority contributions. Training and delivery at primary level tended to be by Kodaly approaches and methods. A particularly unusual initiative took the form of an out-of-school hours learning opportunity “Theory Support” to give dedicated support in theory work to interested pupils. And we are pleased to have this opportunity to thank Fife education for the many years of enabling Richard Michael one of the most respected jazz educators in Britain to inspire teachers and young people alike throughout England!

Glasgow’s year was distinguished by several new initiatives. The most ambitious, a music theatre project, involved secondary students working with the Scottish Youth Theatre on an original piece exploring issues around sectarianism. Young people- devised settings, stories, sound, character and movement were among the ingredients of a well-attended public performance. Such was the success of that collaboration, another themed music theatre project is already embarked upon for the current year. The schools symphony orchestra is combining and performing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. A successful rock project which develops PR skills, writing, recording and performance techniques was to be repeated. We were interested to read of an easy-to-use digital learning pathway designed for primary teachers new to music, which was being piloted across 30 schools. The City’s provision for meeting SEN needs was genuinely inclusive, ie it extended also to adults. And a strong commitment to jazz education promised to be strengthened in 2007/08.

In Knowsley all schools have now entered into a service level agreement with the music service, which began to develop its INSET and CDP provision and extend inclusive approaches to music education for pupils with SEN. We also noted good collaboration with other music services in the North West.

Rejuvenation of music education in Lambeth followed when the education authority took over management of the music service. Nowhere was that evidenced more than in the ambitious programme of INSET relevant to WCIVT and SEN provision. Indeed such was the success of that programme that some of it was provided for other LEA music services. Partnership and joint working became a successful feature of provision in the borough which continued to exploit the resources represented by the South Bank Centre. Last year we commended the Lilian Baylis School Jazzstart project. It was good to learn that it subsequently lead to a large increase in take up of instrumental lessons at the school, although the planned extension to year seven pupils in other schools had yet to happen.

A stand out element of the Northamptonshire submission was the music activity of the authority’s supplementary (mother tongue) schools. The Chinese, Gujerati, Polish, Arabic and Greek schools all made distinctive contributions, which, apart from the musical delights, enabled students better to understand their cultural heritages. A plentiful and wide range of instruments continued to be made available without charge. And support for adult music-making was exemplary. But, arguably, the authority’s crowning glory is the all-genre, auditioned and non-auditioned ensemble public performance opportunities, estimated at 400 per annum!

North Somerset were another authority to relocate their music service within the year. Fortunately that didn’t seem to interfere with as good a programme of INSET as we have seen. A heavy emphasis on curriculum support was distinguished by the practice of follow-up visits to schools as part of a large proportion of the training sessions. 63 per cent of schools received 33 WCIVT lessons every week throughout the year and 90 per cent of the schools were eventually enrolled.

Stirling again take the prize for the smallest LEA participating in the scheme. There were several fruitful partnerships with professional groups (including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra). Involvement of parents was particularly good: thus apart from newsletters and individual progress reports, there was a parent consultative group representative of each of the authority’s seven clusters of schools. An especially praiseworthy initiative took the form of innovative workshops – one jazz and the other traditional music – with built-in opportunities to hear and see live performances by high quality professional musicians in the genres.

Tower Hamlets had a music education mountain to climb. A one-year old music service, the second most deprived authority in Britain and over 50 percent of the young people of Bangladeshi heritage. Yet, already, we note an outstandingly rich mix of music partnerships and collaborations and a range of training and CPD opportunities second to very few. Plans for developing jazz education, and the insights underpinning those plans were in themselves exciting. Notwithstanding all that was still to do in establishing this service, a genuine vitality was very much in evidence.

Warrington launched a wide range of new initiatives and developed several of the previous year’s projects and programmes. The year was notable in other respects too. For example, the percentage of schools involved in WCIVT provision continued to grow and stood at 63 per cent with 90 per cent of pupils choosing to continue beyond the initial period. We were especially impressed by the arrangements adopted for transition from year six to seven. Excellent INSET provision was apparent and allied to that evidence of effective joint working with at least five other music services in the North West.

West Sussex music support service suffered budget cuts of £85k which had to be met out of charges for music centre and county-wide group activities. In the meantime, provision for extended schools, WCIVT, SEN and tuition on “shortage” instruments was increased; exemplary involvement of parents and joint working with neighbouring LEAs and music services and INSET provision levels were all maintained. The value and quality of the support for adult music-making was validated by a new commission to provide the teaching staff and performance management of music courses for adult and community learning in the County.

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