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The busy Warwickshire County Music Service

ISM member Jeremy Dibb will be writing a series of articles for our blog about life in the busy Warwickshire County Music Service - the challenges it has faced, and the confidence it has in the future of music education. Here is the first part of The Journey...

The purpose of this blog and the ones to follow is not to lament the changes to music services, difficult though they have been, but to share with colleagues the steps we have taken in Warwickshire to ensure that our music education delivery will survive and flourish whatever the future and future funding may hold.

Two years ago our local government funding was withdrawn and as a result we lost over half of our management posts and had to withdraw the majority of full time teaching posts with qualified teachers’ pay and conditions. Teachers were re-employed as Warwickshire Music Service tutors on teachers’ terms and conditions. Colleagues delivering the music curriculum in schools continued to be paid for this teaching on teachers’ pay and conditions.

I would not want to downplay how difficult this was for colleagues directly affected; but there is no question that the survival of the service depended upon it. Suddenly the relative security of working in the public sector disappeared overnight - and it is never going to return.

A few months of total uncertainly whilst we waited on confirmation of the government’s decision for the future of music education culminated in the review by Darren Henley. This in turn led to the current three year funding and the establishment of the Music Education Hubs.

Two years ago was our darkest hour. In two years time we will be close to the end of the current funding and who knows what the then government might decide. We have to take action now to ensure our prosperity and I will share with you our particular journey in the forthcoming blogs.

Jeremy Dibb
ISM member and Senior Manager at Warwickshire County Music Service