ADD379 Music Education initiatives

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 February 2016
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

Approval is required for expenditure of £15,000 in 2015-16 for the delivery of two strategic music education initiatives recommended by the Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce:

The London Music Champions are a team of outstanding head teachers who mentor other head teachers and support other schools to develop excellent music provision. The funding will allow the GLA’s delivery partner, Music Mark, to recruit a second cohort of ten Champions and continue managing the first cohort.

The London Music Pledge Conference will help to connect more schools with the range of music education support available to them. Attendees will become ambassadors for the London Music Pledge, helping to engage more schools over the coming months. The conference will take place in March 2016 at City Hall.



The Assistant Director approves expenditure of up to £15,000 as grant funding in 2015-16 as follows;

•    Up to £6,000 to Music Mark to deliver the London Music Champions programme 
•    Up to £9,000 to Sound Connections to deliver the London Music Pledge Conference 


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce

The Mayor’s music education taskforce, chaired by Anne Canning, Director of Hackney Learning Trust, aims to keep London at the forefront of music education in the UK and overseas. 

In 2014-15 the GLA provided £27,000 funding approved by DD1280 for the Taskforce to deliver:

-    a new Music Education Plan 
-    a series of events to raise the profile of music education
-    set-up the London Music Champions
-    research into a Parent’s Guide to Music Education. 

The money was spent as follows:

£7,000 spent in 2014-15 on events to raise the profile of music education in schools

The Taskforce produced a new music education plan in November 2014 called the London Music Pledge. The Pledge has been promoted to all schools across London and was provided to all attendees at the Mayor’s Education Conference as well as delegates at events funded by the London Schools Excellence Fund. 

The Pledge sets out the Mayor’s five music education pledges. They focus on secondary schools as this is where the lion’s share of spending on music education takes place. It also dovetails well with the Mayor’s Education Programme. 

The Taskforce have recently updated the Pledge to reflect the new membership of the Taskforce and some small changes in the support available. The Pledge (now in its second year) continues to be relevant and is the Mayor’s roadmap for music education in London. GLA funding paid for design, printing and distribution.

The Schools Music Excellence Award to also set up. GLA funding paid for the management of the nomination and selection process, the purchase of the awards and the attendance of 8 guests at the London Music Awards where they received their awards from the Mayor in front of funders and senior music industry figures.

£12,000 spent in 2014-15 on market research for the Parents’ Guide to Music Education 

The GLA grant funded the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music to research and develop the parents’ guide. Focus groups and interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was completed by 556 individuals. The market research confirmed that there is a significant gap in information for parents to help them access music education for their child and support their ongoing music education.

The content of the website and short films is currently being developed and funding is being sought from various sources in preparation for launch in late Spring / early summer 2016.

£8,000 spent in 2014-15 on the London Music Champions 
See item 1 below for an update and future plans.


Objectives and expected outcomes

Further funding in 2015-16 will deliver the following benefits:

1)    London Music Champions - £6,000 to be spent in 2015-16

Two-thirds of schools provide inadequate music education. Borough music services are struggling to get access to head teachers. The GLA has grant funded an external agency – Music Mark, the National Association for Music Education – to bring together a group of outstanding head teachers and musicians, known as London Music Champions. These people help to open doors to schools where music provision is under-developed. They also support those schools in understanding the value of music and improving their provision. 

Music Mark recruited the first cohort of ten Champions in 2015 and these are now active. To meet demand from schools, Music Mark will use this additional funding to recruit a second cohort of 10 Champions. They will provide them with training and manage their schedules e.g. speaking at conferences, conducting mentoring visits to schools, writing press articles, helping schools to write and implement music education plans and arrange meetings between head teachers and heads of music service. 

The target is for each Champion to carry out at least three engagements per year. In 2016 this will deliver 60 engagements across the two cohorts of 10 teachers. We estimate that the two cohorts will indirectly benefit around 70,000 young Londoners, by 2017. The new Champions will be recruited in Spring 2016 and be active in Summer 2016.

London Music Champions objectives:

-    Recruit 10 more London Music Champions in Spring 2016
-    Continue to manage the 10 existing London Music Champions
-    Deliver 60 engagements by the 20 London Music Champions in 2016-17
-    Benefit 70,000 school students through improved music education provision

2)    Conference to increase the status of music education in London’s schools - £9,000 to be spent in 2015-16

The last GLA Music Education Conference took place in Jan 2012. Since then major changes have happened in music education. The Mayor’s support for music education has also changed. This event will help to raise the profile status of music education in London’s schools. In particular it aims to engage head teachers and senior school leaders with the Mayor’s Music Education Programme and the range of support that is available to them.

The event will be delivered by the Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce, led by the London music education agency Sound Connections. The event will support the following GLA initiatives:

-    The London Music Champions will present sessions and be highly visible through the conference. The aim is to recruit additional champions and promote their services to schools.
-    Music Excellence London is a music teacher CPD programme that is funded by London Schools Excellence Fund. The conference will help to ensure that head teachers support their music staff and release them from school to participate in regular CPD.
-    The London Curriculum will be promoted throughout the event, ensuring wider takeup across London’s schools
-    The Parents’ Guide to Music Education, is a series of short films for parents, to help them understand what their child should be receiving in music. It is funded by the GLA and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. It will be ready presented at the conference ready in anticipation of its launch in May.
-    The School Music Excellence Award was launched in 2015 to find London’s outstanding schools for music and recognise them publicly. 100 schools applied and 8 received awards. The Conference will profile several of the outstanding schools that won awards. The next round of awards will also be launched.
-    The Mayor’s Music Fund will also be showcased at the conference, ensuring that as many school as possible are putting forward students for scholarships.

Conference objectives

-    Deliver one music education conference in Spring 2016
-    Reach 200 delegates
-    Launch the School Music Excellence Award 2016


Equality comments

The activities outlined above relating to the Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce will ensure that more parents, children and young people in London are have the opportunity to access music services in the capital. This programme is directly in line with the Culture Team’s stated commitment within the Mayor’s Annual Equality Report under objective 2: Review and evaluate GLA’s annual events programme to include  customer research that captures levels and diversity of participation.

All elements of this programme have equality of access at the heart. In particular, the London Music Champions will be aiming to recruit a special school head teachers in the next cohort.

The London Music Pledge inherently addresses issues such as access to high quality educational initiatives to widen young people’s participation in cultural activities. The Mayor’s Music Fund provides funding for children from low income families who have music potential.


Other considerations

DD1280 approved the music education programme for the period 2014/15 to 2015/16. The projects highlighted in this document aim to ensure the actions identified in Cultural Metropolis, the Mayor’s statutory cultural strategy, are delivered.  

There is a reputational risk if this programme does not proceed as the GLA has been in consultation over the past year with key stakeholders about delivering these elements of the programme.

Grant funding will be provided to Sound Connections (£9,000) and Music Mark (£6,000) to deliver the London Music Champions and the Conference respectively. These are important strategic organisations in London’s music education sector. Providing funding for these organisations to deliver the programmes is highly cost effective - it leverages around £15,000 of in kind funding from these organisations – and ensures that the these programmes are embedded in the music education sector and able to be sustained beyond the end of the GLA’s funding. 

Both organisations have received grant funding from the GLA in the last two years and their delivery has been thoroughly evaluated through Project Oracle and independent evaluations by the universities of Birmingham and East Sussex.


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the GLA to contribute £15,000 in 2015-16 for the delivery of two strategic music education initiatives recommended by the Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce, as detailed within this document.

5.2    The cost will be funded from the existing 2015/16  Cultural Tourism budget of £100,000, held in the Health & Communities Unit.

5.3    All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Purchase orders raised for Music Mark and Sound Connections

Jan 2016

Recruitment of Music Champions

Feb / Mar 2016

Planning Conference

Oct 2015 – Mar 2016

Deliver Conference

22 March 2016

Deliver Music Champions activity

From March 2016

Short evaluation of Conference and Champions

April 2016


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