Sunday 3 February 2013


Who will be next?  How many more?  Newcastle, Gwent, now Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan - these people are insane!

However, I don't want to depress you!  I had a very nice day last Wednesday, travelling to London, walking from Kings X to the Oval and then spending a delightful few hours at a meeting of the Musicians' Union Teachers' Committee, talking about the Andante Report.  A very positive and constructive session it was too.

And one really good thing that came out of it was that we all agreed that we all have to work together to fight these philistines who think that the arts and education don't matter and that they can conveniently be cut because other things are more important. (Or will attract more votes!)

One problem is that teaching unions are so fragmented - and there are loads of different organisations and associations representing music and the arts - but they don't work together enough.  MU, ISM, ESTA, EPTA, ECMTA, FMS, NCA, etc. etc. - it goes on and on!  We have to speak with one voice if we are really going to be heard.

When it comes to music and music education, those responsible for its delivery (DfE, DCMS, ACE and Ofsted) either don't know what they are doing or simply won't tell anybody.  The Music Hubs project is a shambles and nobody knows what is going on.  There seems to be no clear vision, no strategy, no leadership and precious little understanding.  Everyone seems to be taking a "suck-it-and-see" approach and just waiting for one or two examples of good practice to emerge so that everyone else can copy them.

Education is our future - and our children's future - and education without music and the arts is an oxymoron!  Please join the battle, sign the petitions, keep the pressure on - and, even if you don't agree with everything in it, help to circulate the Andante Report, promote the debate and keep pushing this issue up the agenda!