It was a real pleasure to welcome Bridget Whyte, CEO of Music Mark, to our event on Thursday 23rd September, and I’m sure you came away from her conversation starter with plenty to think about.

Bridget has kindly shared her notes with us, which include helpful reminders and links to everything she mentioned in her presentation.

Music Education in England (other music educations are available!) A recent DfE publication stated: 

Almost two thirds of head teachers and leaders in education said that their relationship with their local hub was either good or excellent. However, the responses also highlighted that there is progress to be made on establishing strong partnerships between the hubs and the wider music industry.’ 

This quote is taken from a report on a public consultation around the planned ‘refresh’ of the National Plan for Music Education which was carried out in February to March 2020. 

What is a hub? 

  • A concept not organization / About partnership 
  • There is a lead partner and it might be a music service but not always 
  • 119 of them across England – vary in size, shape and structure 
  • Funded by DfE (via ACE) to deliver a set of roles outlined in the National Plan for Music Education, but actually do much more through the partnership and individually 
  • Aim is for Hubs to work in partnership with schools – schools have a list of responsibilities within the National Plan but were never held to account for their role. The Plan is more than just what hubs must do! 
  • Funding is allocated using a fair funding formula which is based on pupil numbers. This year the funding is £76.1m but based on pupil numbers in England this actually means the partnership gets c.£8.63 per pupil per year! 

Why are they important? 

  • Because they involve a partnership of local, regional and national organisations 
  • Their focus is on the music education of all children and young people in their patch 
  • They are developing musical learning in and out of school – customers you need now and into the future! 

What’s going on in Music education just now? 

  • Racial diversity and wider ED&I conversations are filtering down into music education (See Music Mark’s recent research report on workforce here) 
  • Re-commitment by DfE, in partnership with DCMS, to ‘refresh’ the NPME (originally due to be refreshed in 2019…. Stalled during Pandemic… picked up again now). Expert Panel – includes industry – UK Music and Universal…. 

Why is that important to you? 

  • It is likely that schools will be called to account for their role in a new NPME – what are you doing to support schools to deliver the music curriculum, to address progression, to be inclusive? 
  • A need for new resources to support DfE’s vision and Ofsted’s expectations – have you read the Model Music Curriculum and thought about how you could produce resources to support it or any other model curriculum? And do you know about Ofsted’s inspection framework, heard Mark Phillips Speak and/or read the literature review? What guidance and support could you give to schools facing a ‘deep dive’? 
  • New plan = new or ‘refreshed’ roles for hub partnerships – whatever they are asked to do, would it not be good to be part of the partnership. Whole Class, progression, ensembles etc all need instruments stocks, repertoire etc. 

Challenge – are you having conversations with the hub leaders in the area where you are based or a selection from across the country? There are likely to be ways you can help! 

Find your local hub (and every Music Service in the UK) within the Get Playing Page