Sorry for the inactivity on the blog for the last month or so. For those of you that don’t follow me on Twitter, I’ve been off work for a bit with sciatica, but hope to be back at the end of February.
Anyway, I’m pleased that my first post of 2012 is about an exciting new initiative for music education where I live – Cheshire East. Over the last few weeks, Sandbach School, a free school, has been consulting with various partners about making an application for music hub funding from Arts Council England.
The proposal is to create a new charitable Trust to work in partnership with various organisations in providing music education services across Cheshire East. The trust would be owned by schools (Governors of the Trust would be co-opted from various schools across Cheshire East) and run for schools (hence the Trust’s tag-line of ‘by schools, for schools’.
Negotiations have been held with the Local Authority. Originally, they were going to make their own bid application but have decided to withdraw that and support the Trust’s application instead. The existing Cheshire East Music Service (including its staff and assets) would be subsumed within the new Trust.
The Trust is built on a range of existing networks which it will hope to exploit in delivering services to schools. These networks include the performing arts colleges in Cheshire East (all four are supporting the new Trust), the Teaching Schools Alliance (ten high schools across Cheshire East), and the MMU partnership of schools (including many primary and secondary schools across Cheshire East).
In addition, the new Trust has got the support of a very impressive list of partners, including:
- Fallibroome Academy (with specialist performing arts status and a Teaching School)
- Poynton High School and Performing Arts College (with specialist performing arts status)
- Malbank School and Sixth Form College (specialist performing arts status)
- Holmes Chapel Teaching School
- Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
- Department of Contemporary Arts, MMU Cheshire
- Royal Northern College of Music
- The Halle Orchestra
- Roland UK
- Fodens Brass Band
- Sandbach Concert Series
- Lions Youth Band
- Buffet Crampon Instruments (Besson)
- Sterling Instruments
- John Wallace (Principal, Royal Scottish Conservatoire)
- Andy Scott (BBC composer award winner)
- Matthew Ford (Vocalist with the John Wilson Orchestra)
- Rob Buckland (Professor of Saxophone, RNCM)
- Dave Hassall (Professor of Percussion, RNCM)
- Elliot Henshaw (Drummer, West End)
- Simon Willescroft (Saxophonist, Duran Duran)
- Paul Newton (Trumpet, West End Billy Elliot)
- Elsie Alcock (Councillor, Sandbach Town Council)
- Mr Jonathan Thackery (Northern Chamber Orchestra)
- Bob Riley (Chief Executive, Manchester Camerata)
- Fiona Sinclair (Manager, Lancashire Sinfonietta)
This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us who live and work in Cheshire East to create a new start for music education across the region. If you are an instrumental tutor, a music teacher, a headteacher or Head of Music working within Cheshire East, a parent with children receiving instrumental tuition, or just an interested observer of music education, please consider expressing your support for this new Trust by filling in this letter of support and sending it to Arts Council England (and a copy to Sarah Burns, the Headteacher at Sandbach School).
If you have any questions about the new Trust and its operation do get in touch.