Posted: Sun 29th May 2016

Major Review Set To Herald New Era For School Music Service In Swansea

This article is old - Published: Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Music loving pupils, parents and teachers are preparing for a new era that will see music services transformed in their communities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Scores of schools across the city are already signing-up to the new service, which will be launched in the city in September to replace the former West Glamorgan Music Service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

And now an independent review being conducted over coming weeks will help shape a creative, inspirational music service available to all our city’s schoolchildren. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Jen Raynor, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said the review is the next step in the transformation of school music services following Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Council’s decisions to de-couple the former joint music service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said: “The issue both councils faced was that the service in its previous shape was not sustainable in the long-term. The purpose of the review is to create a stronger, sustainable and, above all, attractive service for schools and pupils. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our ambition for the future of the service will see it working with other schools and communities as much as – if not more than – it did before as part of the joint service we had with Neath Port Talbot. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Just because the West Glamorgan Music Service will be ending in August, that does not mean the end for cross-council and cross-community working on orchestras, ensembles or bands.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The independent review being undertaken for the council will consider ways of taking the best ideas of the past to inspire new, fresh approaches to collaboration which will extend children’s experiences and encourage a lifelong bond with music. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The independent review also has a mandate to work with the council’s school music staff, with school head teachers and with other interested groups to look at ensuring it has a sustainable future which meets the needs of the schools which pay for the service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Raynor said: “It’s often forgotten the bread and butter funding for school music services in Swansea has always come from schools which choose to purchase the service. The music service has to meet their aspirations and expectations. The more schools that sign up the stronger, the more creative the service can be. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The review we’ve commissioned will help the school music service to do that and more and I’m looking forward to seeing its recommendations.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The review of the service is being conducted by independent expert Gary Young, who has a background in music and the management of music services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Most schools in Swansea have agreed Service Level Agreements to receive a music service from the Swansea schools music service from September. Other schools are still considering their choices. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea Council has pledged funding support for the school music service while the review takes place and a new service is established. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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