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James Dickinson - Head of Hertfordshire Music Service

Information for all music subject leaders in Primary and Secondary schools and all Headteachers 

What this Hub is Doing
Hertfordshire Music Education Hub Response to the Ofsted Report - What Hubs must Do

In the OFSTED music document ‘What Hubs Must Do’ Music Hubs and schools have been challenged to meet and discuss the quality of music in schools and agree actions and support accordingly.

In addition to planning a rolling programme of school visits and support, Hertfordshire Music Service is providing a self evaluation toolkit for all leaders based on recommendations and priorities from this and preceding documents. This enables more schools to be able to engage in this process more quickly.
The self evaluation toolkit can be found below:-

Infant/Primary Schools TEMPLATE - *updated 

Secondary Schools TEMPLATE - *updated 

Our self evaluation toolkit can be used in several ways:

  • For a departmental /school review at a time which will coincide with the implementation of the new music curriculum
  • As part of a department or school development plan ( OFSTED are telling us that all schools will be expected to include music on whole school plans)
  • As a tool for target setting and tracking the progress of music as a curriculum subject
  • As an agenda for Music Service/ school partnership meetings

We hope that you will use the template in whatever way is best for you, and having used it, if you would like to make a visit to your school a priority, please email:

East music enquiries:-
Tel: 01438 844518     

West music enquiries:-
Tel:  01727 860941       

We will meet with schools on an ongoing basis, starting in September 2014. If using our toolkit raises questions meaning you would like to arrange a visit by us in the shorter term, please contact:
Deena Day
Curriculum Lead Hertfordshire Music Service


News 2014
News from Music HMI

November 15th 2013

This short survey report challenges all music education hubs to be bold in implementing the National Music Plan for Music Education and to grasp the opportunity to lead, with schools and other partners, improvement in schools on a major scale:

Hertfordshire Schools OFSTED 2013

Important information for all Hertfordshire schools

Following the announcement from Laura Gander-Howe, Director, Learning and Skills, Arts Council England (see Head of Service blog for full details ) that

‘’between January 2013 and July 2013 Ofsted is going to make a series of short subject survey visits in music that will be sharply focussed on the effectiveness of music subject leadership by subject and senior leaders in schools, and the extent to which the leadership of the local music hub is supporting and augmenting musical teaching and learning in that school’’

Here are links to the essential information you need.

Music in Schools: Sound Partnerships

This report highlights the benefits and pitfalls of partnership working in music education.

Part A of the report identifies five Key Actions taken by schools that have developed effective music education partnerships. Part B draws on the good practice seen, by linking to eight good practice case studies. These highlight how the best partnerships have improved provision for music in primary and secondary schools and a special school.

The report includes guidance to help schools improve their partnership working in music education, including with the new music hubs.

Music in Schools: promoting good practice – Guidance from HMI for teachers, headteachers and music hub leaders when observing musical teaching and learning

Schools, all other funded providers of music education, and providers of Continuing Professional Development should work together to …strengthen senior leadership of music in schools by increasing headteachers’ and senior leaders’ knowledge and understanding about the key characteristics of effective music provision, including the appropriate use of musical assessment and the importance of teachers’ musical preparation, so that they can more effectively observe and support music in their schools’

                 Music in Schools: Wider Still and Wider, Ofsted 2012

This guidance has been produced by specialist music HMI in response to this key priority from the 2012 Ofsted triennial music report. The six video studies of good practice published alongside the report also provide musical illustrations to exemplify the key priorities for observation. The videos show very clearly that there is not a single, definitive, ‘approved’ format for structuring effective music lessons. Inspection evidence shows that there are , however, some broad principles for all good musical teaching and learning, common to all music contexts.

The principles and key questions contained in the guidance are applicable to all forms of music teaching and learning – in the classroom, in additional instrumental and vocal tuition, in ensemble work and in music project work led by professionals and animateurs.

Music Survey Visits: Generic grade descriptors and supplementary subject specific guidance for inspectors on making judgements during visits to schools.

See the music specific grade descriptors here:

For the full context of these implications, please see ‘Wider Still and Wider’ – quality and inequality in music education 2008-11

Case studies of good and weaker practice, included throughout the written report, are complemented by six specially commissioned films that further exemplify good practice in a wide range of school settings.