Many Music education hub applicants clearly illustrated how they have realised the vision of the government's National Plan for Music Education. This included new approaches to partnership working, innovative thinking about business models and plans to work with others to develop and maximise resources for music education for children and young people.

Examples of music education hub work:

North East Music for Special Educational Needs and Disability Network

Music Partnership North, Northumberland, has a priority for developing music with special educational needs and looked after children. Work was recently undertaken to map and co-ordinate provision across the north east region, and a steering group with key partners was formed. This started as a partnership between Northumberland Creative & Performing Arts (now known as Music Partnership North, Northumberland), Durham Music Service (the lead organisation for Durham & Darlington Music Education Hub), Jessie’s Fund, Live Music Now and Music and the Deaf. The steering group has now expanded to include representatives from all the North East Music education hubs and The Sage Gateshead. The aims of the group are to audit and map provision and identify the needs of children and young people and the people who work with them. New opportunities will then be developed to fill gaps in provision, with smaller working groups developed to focus on specific areas.

One of the areas that the group are looking at in detail is how children and young people with special educational needs can access the core roles from the National Plan for Music Education, which should lead to the creation of specific pilot projects.

What resources have you put in place to support this activity?

The Lead Officer in Northumberland and the Special Needs advisor from Durham and Darlington Music Education Hub are leading the steering group. By including charity organisations in the steering group and using their expertise it has been possible to run the first activity at a very low cost. Workshop leaders at a recent training day were provided by Jessie’s Fund and Live Music Now and venues were provided by Music Partnership North, Northumberland and Durham and Darlington hubs. The training days were open to staff across the region at a very low cost with each member of the steering group giving their time for no financial recompense. 

By working together and pooling expertise it has already been possible to raise the profile of music with special education needs and disability across the region, as well as enabling activity to reach a wider audience. For example, a Music and the Deaf festival in March 2013 ran in three Local Authority areas over three days rather than separate days in each one. By trialling this event in three areas the experience can be shared to include all the Music education hubs in the region, which in turn reduces travel costs. A newsletter containing information about activity and events is circulated to local music education hubs, schools and settings in their area.

Tips for hubs wanting to adopt this model:

  • source specialist partners to be involved who have expertise that can be shared – not just in delivery, but in the organisation of activity and fundraising
  • ensure members can act as facilitators for the group and be the point of contact to collate and hold distribution lists
  • ensure the workload is shared so that it doesn’t become too onerous as the activity expands

Find out more about this hub

Nottinghamshire Music Hub Continuing Professional Development Network

Consultation work identified the need to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) support for specialist and non-specialist teachers of music in schools. The need was highlighted by teachers, for whom there had been limited or no access to local provision of music CPD. Young people were interviewed as part of the consultation process and had very different views about music opportunities available in schools. Some students felt highly engaged in music classes and had access to a wide range of extra-curricular music activities, but others felt that the music offer in schools had little to do with their own musical interests. The CPD network provided an opportunity to help teachers share ideas and increase the engagement of Nottinghamshire young people in music learning in schools.

During year one of the Music hub CPD network, two separate and bespoke CPD networks for primary and secondary music teachers are being delivered via three full-day face-to-face sessions, one per term, for each network. The focus for each is the development of effective music teaching and learning, such as:

  • innovation and creativity within the classroom
  • planning for progression and closing learning gaps and transition between key stages
  • leading and supporting other teachers
  • features of effective leadership to close learning gaps for all vulnerable groups

Participants are encouraged to remain in contact with each other between meetings and to visit each other in school to observe their work.

What resources have you put in place to support this activity?

CPD sessions are coordinated and led by the Minster School, Southwell. However, the role of the school is to facilitate and broker input from a wide range of providers. Providers include outside speakers with specialist expertise, colleagues from within the Nottinghamshire Music education hub and current music teachers. Members of the CPD network deliver sessions to each other as a means of sharing best practice.

Participants in the network receive three face-to-face events each academic year, a financial contribution towards the cost of supply cover for each event and an online support package. The CPD network is in the process of setting up an online space for colleagues within the network to share ideas and resources.

Tips for hubs wanting to adopt this model:

  • have a clear vision of what you want the Music CPD network to achieve and ensure that all CPD activities are in keeping with this vision
  • ensure that all provision within the CPD network is informed by a secure audit of school and teacher needs, and with regard to latest information regarding statutory requirements for music education; be responsive to needs as they change and evolve.
  • ensure that the CPD activities are school and teacher-led to give credibility that the network will benefit teachers

Find out more about this hub.  

Download a list of the 123 successful music hub applicants.