(Image: Mayor's Music Fund)
I’d like to ask for your help. On Friday 21 November the Mayor launched his new #LondonMusicPledge. Speaking to 450 heads teachers at his annual education conference, he announced five pledges he has made to support music education. He also asked head teachers to sign-up to the pledge which offers practical ways to develop music in schools. We want to create a buzz about school music making and I hope you can help by signing-up to the pledge and telling more heads, teachers and colleagues about it.
When the Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce got together a year ago, under the chairmanship of Darren Henley, we discovered that London headteachers spend around £600m per year on music. Yet music can be a tough subject for heads to get to grips with and more could be done to provide specialist advice on how to make the most of this money. We therefore wanted to find ways to support head teachers.
We secured funding from the Mayor to create a team of London Music Champions. The idea of head teachers supporting other head teachers isn’t new, but it is proven to work. So, the London Music Champions will be a team of heads who have a track record in developing music provision. They will be recruited in the next few months and will work closely with London’s music hubs, who have been asked by Ofsted to have regular conversations about music with senior leaders in London schools.
We are also encouraging head teachers to provide music staff with specialist music CPD. We set up Music Excellence London earlier this year with £650,000 from the Mayor. Workshops, mentoring and seminars are now happening across London and places are free for key stage three teachers. The programme is reducing the isolation many music teachers feel and building a network of experts. It is already paying dividends because teachers are getting together with other music professionals, solving problems, refreshing their musical practice and feeling more confident in their teaching.
By putting music and arts at the
forefront of the Mayor’s education plans, I hope we are reinforcing the
important role they play in young people’s education and in the life of
London itself. The new London Curriculum for key stage 3 teachers was launched
recently and I’m thrilled that music, art and design, English, history and
geography are the first subjects to have been covered.
The #LondonMusicPledge was brilliantly received at the Mayor’s Education Conference – in fact it was one of the hot topics of the day. A head teacher from East London said, “I welcome the London Music Pledge. I put more money into supporting my music teaching staff than any other subject in school. Music Education, perhaps more than any other subject, supports skills across the curriculum”.
I hope the
#LondonMusicPledge is something we can all rally round to help more schools
make the most of music.