Presentation to Hertfordshire County Council’s Integrated Services for Learning Board

Written by: Michael Davidson

26 June, 2019

Music services work in many schools in each county, and often also have music centres for out of school work. By developing musical inclusion practice and partnerships with LA targeted support teams, music services can offer an infrastructure to bring musical inclusion practice to the heart of schools and communities across each county.

Hertfordshire Music Service (HMS) was delighted to be invited to give a presentation to the ISL board on Tuesday 18th June. Integrated Service for Learning is formed of Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) teams working to support the inclusion of vulnerable young people, including Families First, and Developing Special Provision Locally (DSPL). Led by HCC, DSPLs are local networks of schools developing special provision to prevent the school exclusion of young people deemed vulnerable for reason of physical disability, emotional, behavioural or learning disability.

Nick Denham and Michael Davidson described how 18 years of building partnerships with targeted support teams and funders such as Youth Music has helped HMS develop a strong tradition of musical inclusion practice that can add value to the work of schools, and to the work of local authority teams. Drawing on case studies, and project films, they described how HMS has developed four inclusive teaching models to support young people across each stage of their transition to adulthood, both preventing exclusion and providing a bridge back into education.

Nick and Michael described how in year one of AMIE, we used these models to develop a musical inclusion network around our music centre in Stevenage in partnership with the Stevenage DSPL. This included musical nurture groups developed in partnership with SENCOs in primary schools, a weekly drop in Songwriter group at the music centre, a Youth Music Council that ran a ‘Give a Gig’ Showcase and a Family Music activity, and music based mentoring work in the local Pupil Referral Unit.

The next stage of our work is to consider how this can become sustainable locally, and to explore how the model can be developed around each of our other 12 music centres, which map onto each of the 10 DSPL areas of Hertfordshire.

The board was especially interested in how a young music leadership strand trains young people in social uses of music, and how participants have returned to grow our local music workshop leader team. Representatives from Hertfordshire’s Virtual School were interested in how adapting the offer could increase uptake in funded music lessons for Looked After Children. The Families First team was interested in how Family Music could be offered in community settings to engage hard to reach families.

The board suggested it would be helpful for schools to have information describing specific inclusion offers, to complement the broader publicity they currently receive from the Music Service. It also suggested forums for HMS to pitch, including the ISL countywide conference, where HMS will deliver music workshops in September 2019.

Tip: contact your equivalent local team of specialists that work with children and young people who have a range of additional and special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). For more information on Hertfordshire’s Integrated Services for Learning (ISL), click here.

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