LEA Awards 2010 title

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


Major Trophy

This year the major award is once again shared between two Authorities.


Devon is a county whose education structure is rather different from some of its peers. The Music Service, for example, sits within a Curriculum Support and Enrichment Portfolio in the Devon Learning and Development Partnership which is moving to becoming a joint venture company in the near future. Arguably this flexibility of structure has enabled Devon to establish a very wide range of partnerships to enhance its work; and the results of these are very clear for all to see. Devon is another exceptionally good all-rounder, and this can be seen in a number of areas:

  •  A wide range of high quality programmes including 6 new Mix4Six hubs, gamelan training for teachers, a new schools choir festival, a singing in the playground programme, a ukulele enrichment programme, extension of the Jazz ambassadors programme to other genres, partnership working with local festivals, and many more.
  • A high-quality Wider Opportunities provision, offering schools a huge range of facilities and support from a number of Music Development Leaders
  • An extremely imaginative and successful technology programme, including use of IT, websites and online resources to enhance pupils’ musical experience, and the encouragement of social networking to raise awareness of ensemble opportunities and promotion
  • An extensive evaluation activity incorporating formal and informal feedback
  • An excellent range of partnerships with local community groups as well as visiting arts organisations and individual artists and unusually strong provision for adult participants
  • Very strong instrumental provision in everything ranging from ocarinas to tablas

And the list goes on. In some ways the most exciting thing about the Devon provision is that it is so integrated into the overall LA strategy, offering a model of how music provision can make itself invaluable within an Authority, obviating any possibility of it being seen as a luxury rather than a necessity. How many Music Services can claim to work closely with their Authority in supporting, say Roma Traveller Education, EMA, and deaf children? And how many can claim to be regularly consulting with the county-wide Education Forum on all matters of strategic importance? Devon certainly can claim these things, and our panel felt that they were, as a result of such a strong all-round performance, very worthy winners of the major award in 2010.

East Ayrshire

The submission from East Ayrshire was a model of good practice in the provision of interesting and imaginative programmes. Amongst the opportunities they provide for the lucky pupils in the county were:

  • An international project featuring a commission involving 180 pupils from East Ayrshire and 30 from Norway and Northern Ireland
  • A Homecoming concert featuring 121 pupils playing traditional Scottish homecoming music
  • A rock and pop writing and performing project called Unsigned: Unlimited involving 20 aspiring musicians so far
  • A social inclusion project involving 121 pupils
  • A project involving 90 primary pupils, 20 African drummers from a special school, 6 jazz instrumentalists and others in the development of a new musical instrument
  • A singing programme featuring 1404 pupils in 30 primary schools
  • A primary strings project involving 62 pupils
  • A nursery school project in partnership with the Scottish Ensemble, involving 450 nursery age children
  • A showcase featuring 6,400 pupils across East Ayrshire
  • A new samba project featuring 233 pupils

And so on and so on. Equally impressive is the range of partnerships developed within and outwith the Authority, with organisations such as Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the Scottish Brass Band Association, Ayrshire Music Festival and many many others. The panel was very impressed with the local community organisation with whom partnerships have been struck: Ayrshire Symphony Orchestra, Kilmarnock Choral Union, and Muirkirk & District Pipe Band, to name but a few. East Ayrshire seem to have an endless capacity for striking excellent relationships with any organisation and creating a hugely beneficial and exciting project. Extremely impressive stuff.

And neither do they neglect their internal needs. The range of CPD opportunities is very great and carefully structured according to individual needs. And the Music Service’s relationship with the rest of the Authority is surely one from which many could learn. They are fully integrated with the provision of services across the rest of the Authority and as a result have a sound basis from which to carry out their exemplary work. A most impressive application from a most impressive authority.

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