Beyond the barricade: working together as a hub
Last Monday, the key partners who have been working as part of the hub in Gloucestershire, met at Colwell Arts Centre to discuss how we can work better and become stronger, together.
There was a great atmosphere and lots of useful discussion. We supported and challenged each other about how we might work together to help all schools and all young people to get access to great music education, touching on areas such as:
• Strategy – including schools music plan, workforce development plan, and Hub business plan
• Diversity of offer and access
• CPD, learning and support for school teachers
• Quality standards and sharing effective practice
• Communications – signposting, progression routes, networks, advocacy
• Sustainability, funding and future mixed economy
… all of which we’ll be following up in future discussions and meetings.
A clearer distinction between the Hub and Gloucestershire Music
We also announced the new, clearer and more transparent means of managing Hub strategy and funding.
People had told us that they felt the Hub wasn’t much different what previously existed – ie the music service (Gloucestershire Music). So we plan to have a commissioning team to lead the Hub, independent from Gloucestershire Music. This is in line with the ‘commissioning council’ approach we take to all of our services.
We’re proposing that the team will focus on how we bring together all those with an interest in music education, and how we collectively use the resources we have to deliver the National Plan for Music Education. The team will be responsible for the DfE grant, but as that diminishes, all of us in the Hub will need to work even harder to create a mixed economy to support and maintain the high standards already set, and widen access to music.
The proposals are currently being consulted upon and the outcome will be announced before April.
Keep in touch and get involved
This was the start of a series of discussions to begin to accelerate the process of change in music education in Gloucestershire. Our next meetings will expand to include a wider range of partners and most importantly, schools.
As I said in my last blog, it’s up to us as a music education community – school leaders, teachers, music education organisations and practitioners – to decide what’s right for our county, and how the Hub will develop here. The Hub IS us and we have a responsibility to work together on behalf of children and young people, who all deserve a great music education. If you feel you can help us in this process, or you’re a school leader or teacher and would like to talk to us about how we can help your school, then please contact Peter Clark in the first instance: Peter.Clark2@gloucestershire.gov.uk
Peter Holmes, Head of Access to Learning, Gloucestershire County Council.