LEA Awards 2008 title

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



Pupils and students between the ages of 5-14 have a statutory entitlement to music education (unless, of course, they are being educated at an independent school, where there’s no such entitlement but, usually, a lot of music education!). It was interesting that within the space of a few days in October, Dick Hallam, in effect England’s music participation animateur and Dr Charles Beale, another esteemed music educator, should see fit to remind us of that statutory entitlement. It was, and still is, one of the National Music Council’s primary articles of faith, though not, of course circumscribed by such a narrow age band. But for schools, the force of statute is not enough. Equally vital to realisation is a supportive head, adequate funds and teachers with skills enough to deliver; and a good music service. Government funding, supportive locally elected representatives and improving teacher skills and effective music services have all played their part; recruiting head teacher support can be and often is more problematic, but once gained it seems anything becomes possible! No doubt we shall see a difference when Whole Class Instrumental & Vocal Tuition (aka Wider Opportunities) is operating universally.

We have said little in the past about the “Honourable Mentions” referred to in our report. This was remiss of us for invariably among them are several which are but a whisker away from the award of a diploma. Indeed, one of the brightest features of recent years has been the absence of “lost causes”, which is to say, virtually all the submissions we have had before us have been genuinely worthwhile.

Our continued association with the PRS Foundation for New Music and Jazz Services Ltd is very welcome, not least because it enables us to accord even wider recognition to demonstrable good music education practice. And without the very real practical support of the Federation of Music Services and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, this scheme would not succeed; we are grateful to them.

Wisdom, good humour and patience are the virtues which characterise my colleagues from the NMC and MEC on the Awards Panel, and, not before time, I would like their names to appear in this record. So, very warm thanks on behalf of myself and the membership of the NMC and MEC, to Leonora Davies, Kathryn Deane, James Hannam, Ben Lane, Alok Nayak, Alistair Salmond, John Stephens and especially our Administrator, Fiona Harvey without whom we would be lost!

Ivor Widdison
Chair, Awards Panel

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