LEA Awards 2010 title

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



In this, my first year of having the privilege of chairing the National Music Council Education Awards panel, I have been bowled over by the difficulty of separating the great applications from the merely good. Whilst we would have been happy to have seen more detail in some areas, and some submissions did hide their light under a bushel somewhat, I am gratified to report that we have had no submissions about which nothing positive could be said. Indeed I am informed that the quality has probably been at its highest this year, reflecting well on the hard work and indeed hard cash that has been going into music provision in Local Authorities this year. The Tune In Year of Music initiative in 2009/10 has undoubtedly raised the profile of music provision during the year in question, and as I write the Henley Review is to be welcomed as a long-overdue “all ends up” look at the good points and bad points of the music education system in England.

UK music education may well be the best in world. It is incredibly diverse, reflecting our multi-cultural society effectively in many areas. It is full of talent, whether that be in teachers, workshop leaders, pupils and even humble administrators! In the best areas it offers children the most amazing opportunities to make music and to compose. It benefits from an extraordinary amount of attention from so many people, and an enormous amount of research is going on into the holistic benefits to pupils provided by musical education.

And yet there are still some Local Authorities who don’t “get it”. The National Music Council Awards are lucky enough to reflect the best practice in the field, and hold a mirror up to those Authorities and their Music Services who do the best work in the best way, and benefit their children accordingly. Getting the message across to those Authorities who are less successful in these areas is a whole different matter, and one that we hope the Henley Review will address.

My grateful thanks go the panel who have put countless hours of effort into assessing the applications. This year they were, in alphabetical order, Leonora Davies, Kathryn Deane, James Hannam, Fiona Harvey, Ben Lane, Alok Nayak, and Alistair Salmond.

And we are also very grateful for the continuing association with the PRS for Music Foundation, who are once again offering their awards for provision in creativity and new music, and Jazz Services Ltd, who provide special awards for the provision of education in jazz. These awards go a long way towards to enabling us to recognise good practice wherever it occurs.

Thanks must also go to both the Federation of Music Services and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, as well as Richard Hallam, National Music Participation Director in England, for their promotion of the awards. We are grateful for all your support.

But the last word of thanks must surely go, on behalf of pupils of all ages, to the music teachers, staffs of music services, workshop leaders, and indeed all those who contribute to our world-class music education. Without you, the UK would be a much less musical, indeed poorer, place.

Robin Osterley
Chair, Awards Panel

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