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The Henley Review

Discussion in 'Music' started by florian gassmann, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

  2. Thank you for the prompt about the Henley Review. In all honesty, I'm becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future of music in education. I carry out my day-to-day duties with a veneer of optimism (mostly for the benefit of the team I lead) but it really is just on the surface.
    Listening to Mr Gove on the Radio (via the BBC website link - Radio 5 interview with Victoria something), and hearing his dismissive attitude towards creative subjects, I felt the first real tinge of real despair.
    I've been asked to forecast applications and class sizes for my Principal this week. I tried explaining that the outlook isn't as rosy as he'd like but I don't think he really understands what we're up against.
    I'm afraid that the cynic inside me thinks that the Henley Review is delayed for purposes other than administrative or logistical issues.
    What do you think, Florian? Is it going to be good news or more bad?
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I hope I'm wrong, but I fear it could be bad. Like Tom Service, I suspect that Henley has spelled-out the cost and the delay is caused by the DfE wrangling over what to do.
    And, as I have always feared, I think TS may be right in saying that the music could be dropped from the National Curriculum. Gove has always wanted to cut it down, but he's left with few options now that History and Geography have got special status. Some form of RE and PE will have to be maintained, so that may well leave music and art as the only candidates for the chop.
    I'd like to think I'm wrong, but I find Gove to be out of touch, two-faced, incompetent, inconsistent and many worse words that I won't use here. But par for the course as far as most Education secrataries are concerned (not that many of them stay in office for long - it's only a stepping stone to higher things for most of them).
  4. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Recent words from the Grauniad, education commentators and professionals have been saying this for some time. Of course it won't directly affect schools who do not have to follow the NC [Independents and 'new' Academies] but still relies on a supportive SLT.
  5. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Do you mean for political reasons or do you actually think they have to be in the curriculum Florian?
  6. And, as I have always feared, I think TS may be right in saying that the music could be dropped from the National Curriculum. Gove has always wanted to cut it down, but he's left with few options now that History and Geography have got special status. Some form of RE and PE will have to be maintained, so that may well leave music and art as the only candidates for the chop.

    I think Florian that you are right on this and sadly we will end up with the type of institutions found abroad where pupils attend local music schools for their music education. What I have found is that there is very little awareness amonst Primary and Secondary colleagues of what is coming or the impact.
    Both my husband and I teach music and to be honest all I have done for the last twenty eight years is to trains for and work in this field. I do believe there will be schools that still offer music and drama and the private sector will sustain their provision.My husband teaches at a number of leading private schools and the feedback from these institutions is that music is very much on the agenda and the fee paying parents would not have it any other way. Ive always been committed to the state sector but the sad reailty is I may be forced outside - my Head has said I have a job as long as he is in charge of our school but hes now been seconded elsewhere.
    I suspect many fulltime instrumental teachers will turn to the private sector when their Music Services are disbanded and reformed with new hourly rates as happened in the 1990s (one of the reasons I left instrumental teaching and went back in to class music).

  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I can't see the law being changed on those two. RE is mainly political, but there are good health reasons for not scrapping PE (said he who saw an enormous blob of a pupil at the bus stop last week, digging into a family bucket of KFC at the end of afternoon school).

  8. Still no word from Henley and LAs are cutting their Music Services:-
    As someone who has worked in a modest Music Service for 24 years I have seen pupils who's lives have been immeasurably enriched in their school career though learning to engage with music through playing and singing, some have gone on to have their own careers in music, many play for pleasure in adult life. Amongst those there are many examples of students from backgrounds where making music has not been part of the home culture and where parents would never have considered music important enough to devote the time and money necessary to gain proficiency who have through contact with the caring experts from the Music Service discovered and realised their own passion for music making.
    It is this that we are in danger of loosing through the changes being brought about by cutting Music Services. It won’t be lost over night because there are a lot of dedicated people out there but a few years down the line we could wake up to find that we have deprived a generation of the essential engagement in music making at the time when they are forming their personalities and choices for life and it will have damaged our society as a consequence.
    As many recent comments have pointed out this country is earning a great deal from music. The talent that rises to enable this earning comes from a rich pool. Although a lot of learning takes place informally a huge proportion is underpinned by the more formal learning that leads young people to play in local authority bands and orchestras which in turn often motivates students to study GCSE and A level music. The richness of the pool bereft of the influence of Music Services will be unlikely to continue to produce the same quality or quantity of creative young musicians whatever style they choose to express themselves in.

  9. This article suggests we can expect it any day now. A number of my orchestra missed rehearsal last week to go to barrack their local council, which has announced it is shutting down the music service. The mayor had to stop them asking questions because they were making the council look rather foolish.
    "Tuesday January 25, 2011...The Music Industries Association and Incorporated Society of Musicians
    have called on councils to stop any further cuts before the results of
    the forthcoming Henley Review of Music Education is published in a
    couple of weeks time."
  10. I've been led to believe from leaders of a local music service that the report is to be published tomorrow!

    I've got everything crossed but am seriously worried.
  11. casper

    casper New commenter

    Did anyone hear radio 4 discussiong this about 5.20 today? Gave an example of council i bedfordshire cutting all funding? to the music service.
  12. So now I'm told that the report's out on monday......
  13. Does anybody know where the report will be published first? Presumably somewhere on education.gov.uk?
  14. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

  15. My initial reaction is thank the Lord!
  16. The review is now on www.education.gov.uk website in the press area.

    We've done a response to it on our website, which also links to the review. You can find it here:
  17. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It's worth reading the government's response carefully. Henley recommends that government funding should be ring-fenced. The government response totally avoids mentioning ring fencing, and says that the £82.5m for next year will be distributed to Local Authorities for the purpose of spending on music (Recommendation 13). And there's no commitment to this kind of figure beyond next year.
    Similarly, Henley says that music should continue to be offered by schools at Key Stage 4 and belives that it should be included in the English Baccalaureate. The government replies that students are entitled to study an arts subject in Key Stage 4. It doesn't respond to the EBacc point at all because Henley unfortunately expressed the point as a belief rather than a recommendation (Recommendation 5).
    The government won't commit to maintaining music in the National Curriculum (Recommendation 9), although that's understandable in the light of the current review. At least Henley has made them aware of the overwhelming support to retain the subject in the NC, but the government's desire for a greatly slimmed down NC may trump other views.
    And I'm not sure that extending the remit of Ofsted to include instrumental teaching (Recommendation 11) will be widely welcomed, although this is a recommendation that the government seem rather keen to pursue.
    Despite those reservations, there are some good and sensible things in the report - I certainly think Darren Henley has done a thorough job. I see Gove couldn't resist having another dig at the profession in his preamble, though: "The review flags up the need for more specialism and expertise amongst music educators."

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