LEA Awards 2009 title

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


Diplomas of Special Merit

Portsmouth’s nine-year collaboration with Southampton and the Isle of Wight through Solent Music (which originally kick-started world musics in the area) continued to benefit INSET provision and was thus held up to be a model of effective joint working. Indeed, CPD opportunities comprised a major element of this submission; take-up was obligatory and provision was evaluated. It was thus demonstrated that raising the skill base of music service staff was a genuine priority. Music technology developments were outstanding in all respects, and the lengths to which the Service involved and acted upon the views of parents and carers was especially praiseworthy. Specialist and general curriculum support was provided to schools both formally and informally at all key stages and phases. Policy and practice for identifying and providing for gifted and talented pupils and students was well established. And while we were sorry to see that free tuition on “minority” instruments, a feature of the submission in 2000, was no longer available, the number and range of instruments provided continued to be substantial as did the number of ensembles. This Music Service was another Service to establish a young musicians’ council to obtain feedback and original views from young people in an organised way. And we were pleased to note that ensemble and choral opportunities for adults were being maintained.

Tower Hamlets This is a Music Service of three-years’ standing catering for a school population 70 per cent of whom live in social housing with all the attendant problems of how to practise on your instrument! Add to that faith-based issues arising from a high Muslim population, 60 per cent of Bangladeshi heritage, and it’s clear this Service faced creative and cultural challenges. Nevertheless, the Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES) succeeded in involving

  • 54 per cent of all pupils in THAMES activities;
  • 86 per cent of all primary pupils in THAMES activities;
  • 15 per cent of  all pupils in instrumental tuition

Though highly valued by the LEA, THAMES received no funding from them. However, at the beginning of the year in question, THAMES received £2.5m (over three years) from DCSF/DCMS under the “Find your Talent” initiative.

The introduction of a pre-Wider Opportunities programme in partnership with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama resulted in more schools signing up for the Wider Opportunities programme. A remarkably high number of new musical partnerships, both project based and longer term, was embarked upon. The relationship between THAMES and the schools curriculum was characterised by a clear six stage progression route which related both to instrumental take-up and to National Curriculum delivery Provision for the gifted and talented was taken seriously as was INSET for THAMES staff and classroom teachers. There were also numerous CPD opportunities.

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