Embedding inclusion in the strategy and delivery of music
Hertfordshire Music Service has been developing targeted inclusion work since 2002. As lead for Changing Tracks, and like its action research partners, it shares practical solutions and opportunities for deeper reflection with other music services. These have been tested on the ground and cover all aspects of a music service, from core role delivery, to strategy.
Since 2018 this work has become more embedded and service-wide, with the development of an ED&I action plan.
Overview of our work this year
Mainly online programmes for young people in challenging circumstances.
- Nurture group programmes – now rolling out to music centres across the county, targeting schools with higher than average Free School Meals and Pupil Premium levels.
- Masterclasses in songwriting – part of the Songwriter programme. Progresses a wider range of young people, produces high-quality musical outcomes, and has diversified the HMS workforce.
- One-to-one music mentoring, to pupils referred by LA targeted services teams.
- Instrumental teachers offering diversionary sessions in youth clubs, in partnership with LA teams.
- Remission of fees refresh in response to impact of COVID.
CPD for instrumental tutors.
- Twice termly online critical reflection / reflective practice sessions for instrumental teachers involved in nurture group programmes.
- Two whole-staff training sessions on trauma-informed practice; Songwriting training; ED&I bootcamp training (small group, to test Changing Tracks prototype bootcamp).
- Developing an outcomes-based approach to CPD and quality systems.
Organisational strategy and planning
- Conversations about ED&I with staff across the service, at all levels.
- Set up an ED&I working group (meets twice a term) which drives the ED&I self-assessment and action plan.
- Staff at all levels applied to join by writing about their personal interest in inclusion. Also includes local authority ED&I officers.
- Inclusion drives the business plan - including insights from local authority, Music Education Hub colleagues, schools, parents, young people.
- Welcoming applications from applicants whose protected characteristics may place them at disadvantage.
- Continuing to grow a more diverse range of genres and styles of music education, and tutors who can teach them.
- Reviewing all processes and procedures with an inclusion lens.
- A marketing booklet to schools now includes the inclusion offer.
- Rewrote Singing Strategy using an outcomes approach, referencing inclusive progression routes (Songwriter) and a need for singers and songwriters on the team.
- Refreshed public engagement survey to include parents who don’t access the music service. An equality monitoring section including postcode to better understand needs in each area.
- Defined inclusion as a process of organisational change in a presentation to wider Hub partners (HMS Music Forum).
Our national inclusion work
Hertfordshire Music Service has been pioneering approaches to equality, diversity and inclusion in music services for many years. Since 2012, it has been supporting other music services across England to improve equality, diversity and inclusion through Changing Tracks.
We support music services to develop E, D and I action plans that set SMART targets for workforce development, encouraging young people’s voice, programming and resources and leadership and strategy.
So far more than 45 music services have benefited directly.
Hertfordshire Music Service supports the Changing Track's mission of:
helping music services to embed equality, diversity and inclusion throughout their organisational culture, strategy and practices, and model good practice.