Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.NMPAT.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING
The pressures on teachers should not
be overestimated. We have therefore
created a work environment where
all staff have access to counselling
and supervision should they require.
We also provide opportunities within
the timetable for staff to carry out
all necessary paperwork within the
working week – no work is to be
taken home. This approach has
reduced staff sickness, ensured staff
retention and promoted the quality of
educationaldelivery.
Challenges
By far the biggest challenge to us has
been the introduction of the Educational
Health Care Plan. We are situated on
the Cornwall and Devon border, and
Plymouth, our nearest city, is a Unitary
Authority. Each council has its own set of
paperwork for conducting reviews and
costings, each has a different approach
to taking proposed educational
provision to the Special Educational
Needs Teams panel for approval, and
each has different referral systems.
More often than not, due to the
complexity of the EHCP process, young
people come to us with incomplete
paperwork or EHCPs that are either
outdated or not fit for purpose
because they are so badly written. As a
result, young people can be forced to
wait for approval for months while we
track down all the missing information
or hold new EHCP reviews to ensure
they are usable.
To overcome this, we have adopted
a prolonged taster where the young
people can engage with us but not go
on the register. This allows us to carry
out full diagnostic tests for each learner
and collate information to assess their
EHCPs. If they are not up to standard,
then we will call a review and re-write
them so that they reflect what the
young person needs to do in order to
successfully engage witheducation.
Relevant learning
Much of our success is in making our
educational programmes relevant at
community level. This can mean many
things, from ensuring all vocational
training links to local employment
opportunities to creating educational
programmes that meet community
intergenerational needs, such as
training to help support carers of those
living with dementia to establishing
forest schools for primary schools.
TST is a small organisation and
as such can be very proactive in
addressing community learning
needs quickly. We have developed a
reputation for designing, piloting and
assessing a wide range of educational
programmes, such as the national
practitioners’ qualification for nature-
based therapy or intervention. Over
the years we have won a number of
awards for innovation and continue
to punch well above our weight,
writing new accredited educational
programmes to address gaps in
educational provision. We are
confident this will continue.
We also
provide
opportunities
within the
timetable for
staff to carry
out all
necessary
paperwork
within the
working week
– no work is
to be taken
home
Reindeers used in animal
therapy
29NORTHAMPTONSHIRE MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS TRUST |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Chief Executive Peter Smalley
Peter Smalley with the
County Youth Concert Band
NMPAT have been responsible for the musical education of
Northamptonshire’s children and young people for half
a century. The organisation caters to over 97 per cent of
Northamptonshire’s schools, and its belief in the importance
of music to a child’s education serves to drive its team in all
that they do. CEO Peter Smalley talks to the
Review
about jazz
improvisation, working with music technology and his plans for
the future on a local, regional and national level.
For over 50 years, we have been enabling music and artistic education opportunities
for children and young people within our county of Northamptonshire. Our core
values are to inspire, nurture and excel and we believe that every child is a unique
individual with the capacity to listen, perform, create, connect and grow.
Listen: Making ourselves heard throughout Northamptonshire
We utilise music and the arts to change the lives of children and young people
throughout the county. We do this by delivering music in 97 per cent of
Northamptonshire schools, providing over 2,000 hours of instrumental teaching per
week and specialist out of school lessons to 800 students. We also work to provide
curriculum support and CPD for schools, organising whole-class instrumental projects
to ensure that every primary school child gets an opportunity to play aninstrument.
Alongside this work in schools, we also run 13 open-access Saturday music and arts
centres which serve every community of the county, and organise 30 auditioned
county ensembles with over 1,000 members. These include orchestras, brass,
wind and jazz bands, choirs and a youth theatre. We deliver over 120 live recital
FACTS ABOUT
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE MUSIC
&PERFORMING ARTS TRUST
»Chief Executive: Peter Smalley
»Established in 1969 as a
county council music service,
becoming an independent
charity in 2012
»Based in Northampton
»Services: Music and
performing arts charity
»No. of employees: Over 250
specialist staff
»Over 20,000 students receive
lessons annually
»26,000 further students
experience live music in school
each year
Northamptonshire Music
& Performing Arts Trust
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | NORTHAMPTONSHIRE MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS TRUST
performances in schools and over 200
annual concerts are performed by our
county groups andcentres.
Perform: musical excellence
We have a reputation for producing
some of the finest youth music
groups in the country, with regular
appearances at the National Concert
Band Festival, Music for Youth National
Festival and Music for Youth Proms.
County ensembles rehearse weekly at
our Northampton base, where literally
thousands of young musicians have
been trained. The progressive structure
of the groups ensures that each person
plays in an ensemble suited to their
standard and has the opportunity to
progress through annual auditions.
International tours provide opportunities
for one or more of our senior groups
to perform a series of concerts on a
European stage – most recently in
Eastern Poland, with tours for 2020
planned to Spain andGermany.
Create: diversity
Our offer includes a jazz improvisation
programme, a folk fusion composition
group, two percussion ensembles
and diverse chamber music activities.
Recently, rock, pop and urban bands
have fused as NMPAT Contemporary.
Our latest venture has been to
establish an African Music Group,
NMPAT Nioko Bok.
A focus on students with additional
needs has seen the growth of “Reach
the Stars”: a specialised programme
for children and young people
with additional needs, supporting
special schools, including through
musictherapy.
Music technology is promoted by
our music production team, who
have recently established a new
studio at our base in Northampton
and have delivered a targeted
intervention programme in three
schools in low-income areas, with
low musical engagement, enabled by
grantsupport.
Our long-standing relationship with
Youth Music has brought grant
funding and helped to broaden and
diversify our activities. Currently, our
Youth Music funded programme
focuses on enabling opportunities
for children and young people in
challenging circumstances and not in
mainstreameducation.
Connect: locally, regionally,
nationally
We are proud to share knowledge and
expertise with colleagues across the
country. We do this through a variety
of channels including through the
Music Education Hubs East Midlands
– or MEHEM – network, and Music
Mark, our national subject association.
I serve on the Music Mark board
and continue to offer advice and
consultancy support to hub colleagues.
Closer to home, we have developed
a relationship with our nearest
neighbour, Rutland. As lead partner,
we have supported development of
the country’s smallest music education
hub, providing a local service for the
local community.
Reach the Stars
We are proud
to share
knowledge
and expertise
with
colleagues
across the
country
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | NORTHAMPTONSHIRE MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS TRUST
performances in schools and over 200
annual concerts are performed by our
county groups andcentres.
Perform: musical excellence
We have a reputation for producing
some of the finest youth music
groups in the country, with regular
appearances at the National Concert
Band Festival, Music for Youth National
Festival and Music for Youth Proms.
County ensembles rehearse weekly at
our Northampton base, where literally
thousands of young musicians have
been trained. The progressive structure
of the groups ensures that each person
plays in an ensemble suited to their
standard and has the opportunity to
progress through annual auditions.
International tours provide opportunities
for one or more of our senior groups
to perform a series of concerts on a
European stage – most recently in
Eastern Poland, with tours for 2020
planned to Spain andGermany.
Create: diversity
Our offer includes a jazz improvisation
programme, a folk fusion composition
group, two percussion ensembles
and diverse chamber music activities.
Recently, rock, pop and urban bands
have fused as NMPAT Contemporary.
Our latest venture has been to
establish an African Music Group,
NMPAT Nioko Bok.
A focus on students with additional
needs has seen the growth of “Reach
the Stars”: a specialised programme
for children and young people
with additional needs, supporting
special schools, including through
musictherapy.
Music technology is promoted by
our music production team, who
have recently established a new
studio at our base in Northampton
and have delivered a targeted
intervention programme in three
schools in low-income areas, with
low musical engagement, enabled by
grantsupport.
Our long-standing relationship with
Youth Music has brought grant
funding and helped to broaden and
diversify our activities. Currently, our
Youth Music funded programme
focuses on enabling opportunities
for children and young people in
challenging circumstances and not in
mainstreameducation.
Connect: locally, regionally,
nationally
We are proud to share knowledge and
expertise with colleagues across the
country. We do this through a variety
of channels including through the
Music Education Hubs East Midlands
– or MEHEM – network, and Music
Mark, our national subject association.
I serve on the Music Mark board
and continue to offer advice and
consultancy support to hub colleagues.
Closer to home, we have developed
a relationship with our nearest
neighbour, Rutland. As lead partner,
we have supported development of
the country’s smallest music education
hub, providing a local service for the
local community.
Reach the Stars
We are proud
to share
knowledge
and expertise
with
colleagues
across the
country
31NORTHAMPTONSHIRE MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS TRUST |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Grow: music and more
Alongside our music provision, we
also run a thriving youth theatre and
young actors’ company, as well as
providing visual and performing arts in
Saturdaycentres.
Residential education is an important
aspect of our work, with courses for
junior players and for county group
members. International concert tours
have been held annually since 1970.
While we primarily focus on supporting
children and young people of school
age, we have a wider age remit too,
with Early Years arts classes from six
months throughout the county, and
a community choir for those beyond
school age.
Now and for the future
We transferred to become an
independent charity in 2012 and
also became lead partner for the
Northamptonshire music education
hub: a government initiative to support
and enhance the work of schools and
co-ordinate the work of a range of
delivery partners.
Becoming a charity was a pivotal
move for us, occurring at a politically
expedient time for our cash-strapped
local authority and allowing operational
independence to seek new income
streams. However, the government’s
music education hub grant remains an
essential source of funding, providing
17 per cent of ourincome.
It has not been an easy time to work
as a music education support service.
Schools have ever tighter budgets and
have increasingly passed the financial
burden to parents, restricting the
breadth of the client group. Equally, the
tightening of the school curriculum has
led to a subject squeeze, with specialist
teachers and music disappearing from
many school curriculums. The change
in Ofsted’s inspection framework will
hopefully begin to reverse this trend,
but it will take both intention and
funding to reinstate music and the arts
at the heart of every school.
As the first National Plan for Music
Education comes to an end, hubs are
facing uncertainty, with a new plan
promised but now delayed, and late
announcements about the future
of the music education hubs. It is
a challenging time, but we remain
optimistic, because the rewards
are shown in the reactions and
performances of students with whom
we work. They are the children and
young people of Northamptonshire
and Rutland and they are amazing.
It will take
both intention
and funding
to reinstate
music and the
arts at the
heart of every
school
Nene
, Derngate,
Northampton
NMPAT 50 gala concert

www.NMPAT.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.