MU survey reveals dissatisfaction amongst music teachers
6 February 2014
The Musicians’ Union (MU) has issued a report calling on the Government to work with Ofsted to ensure that schools recognise the importance of music education.
Over two thirds of the MU’s 30,000 members work in music education. In 2013 it saw a rise in the number of legal cases and calls for support by members who teach. After the publication of the November Ofsted report on the progress of Music Education Hubs in England, the MU consulted with its members who are working for music services and within Hubs and asked how the report reflected what was going on in their area of work and what impact the transition to Hubs has had.
The report raises concern that teachers are being blamed for problems relating to funding and administration. It also suggests that Hubs are being blamed for problems that fall out of their remit, such as schools not having a music specialist. Hubs seem in some cases to be unsupported and in many cases undermined by the Coalition Government’s policy of encouraging schools to have greater independence from their Local Authorities.
The MU reports that some music services have made the whole of their teaching staff redundant, re-engaging them on zero hours contracts or as self-employed teachers. Some of these teachers are being subject to employment covenants restricting the work that they are allowed to undertake outside of their hours with the music service.
The MU’s recommendations are:
1. Government works with Ofsted to ensure that schools get a consistent message that music education is both important and relevant.
2. That future national funding decisions are made quickly and that the current level of funding is at the very least maintained.
3. The data collection requirements from Hubs are revised to ensure they are fit for purpose.
4. That governance arrangements of Music Education Hubs are more closely scrutinised to ensure greater accountability and transparency.
Read the full report here