This is the School Updates page - part of the online schools area.
Please use this to stay up to date with the latest information from Hertfordshire Music Service.
We have a new ‘School Updates’ webpage - part of the online schools area so you can more easily stay up to date with the latest information from Hertfordshire Music Service.
We are fully aware how quickly emails can get lost in a busy inbox, so please visit the new School Updates page for important information about music.
Hertfordshire Schools’ Gala at the Royal Albert Hall – Sunday 30th April 2023
We are delighted to announce that the next Hertfordshire Schools’ Gala at the Royal Albert Hall will take place on Sunday 30th April 2023. The Gala will celebrate the breadth and quality of music making taking place in schools and their communities across the county.
There will be 2 performances at 1.45pm and 7.45pm and primary and middle schools will be invited to apply for places in the massed choir. There will also be various opportunities for secondary school singers, instrumentalists, composers and dancers to showcase their work
To apply to be part of this special occasion, we will be contacting primary headteachers and secondary heads of music with an application form in the Summer term 2022.
Meanwhile keep an eye on our website for updates and take a look at this short video from Rufus Frowde, principal conductor of the Gala. The video includes some exciting details about the Gala 2023 programme and why we particularly encourage schools new to this event to sign up this time.
Delayed response times to queries
The music service continues to experience unprecedented demand for services, requests for information and queries. The team are working quickly to respond to each message however you will likely experience a delayed response at this time.
COVID-19 continues to affect our ability to respond quickly as well as the very high volume of emails. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we are working to improve our communications with parents and schools as we are not currently able to meet our own high standards.
School Single Central Record (SCR) information
We will soon be sending out the information schools require for their SCR for each HMS teacher delivering teaching at your school.
If a new teacher begins working at your school later in the term, or if a change of teacher is required, the DBS information will be supplied at the relevant time. If we have missed a teacher off the list, or you need specific confirmation for an individual teacher urgently, please contact MusicHR@hertfordshire.gov.uk and they will supply the information as soon as possible.
New teacher delays
HMS has recently taken on over 30 new instrumental teachers to meet growing demand and to replace teachers who have left or retired.
A small number of schools are unfortunately still waiting for some instrumental lessons and activities to start as pre-employment checks take longer than anticipated. We apologise for this delay and we are working to speed up the pre-employment process for new staff as quickly as possible.
As long as lessons begin soon, there will still be enough time to complete 33 weeks of lessons this year. Where lessons are not provided due to delays in teachers starting, you or the parents/carers will not be charged.
Whilst all safeguarding checks are complete, we must wait for the final checks to be processed but we can confirm that new teachers can make contact with your school to organise tuition ahead of lessons starting, and shadowing other teachers is also fine at this time.
As part of our commitment to safer recruitment, we must however have to wait for the final checks to be completed before these teachers can begin delivering any tuition.
We will send out our most up to date list of learners weekly over the first few weeks of term as more and more pupils continue to apply for lessons and are being added to our system daily. Please note the pupil lists will be sent to your school’s admin address so please ask your office team to forward it to the relevant member of staff. In addition, the pupil waiting list (the list of pupils who have applied for lessons, but teachers have not confirmed can start yet) will also be shared so you’re aware of who is looking to start lessons at your school.
We will send out updated pupil lists and waiting lists regularly over the next few weeks, so you are kept as up to date as possible.
If you spot any pupils who have left your school or pupils you know have stopped learning an instrument, we are working as quickly as possible to remove these pupils from our system – please bear with us as our focus is on getting new pupils started as soon as possible.
In the near future, our incoming new admin system will make this process much more efficient, including school access to see live pupil lists in due course.
Refreshed HMS website
The HMS website continues to be updated and the school area has the key information you may need for contacting HMS.
If parents have a query about lessons we manage directly, please ask them to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01438 844851 and a member of the billing team will help them directly.
COVID-19 – Step 4
We have agreed our updated approach to safe music making for Step 4 and our COVID-19 guidance is available in the schools area of our refreshed website.
Charanga training dates
A number of schools were unable to attend the recent Charanga CPD session online so below are details of other sessions this year.
Please only book the spaces you know you’ll need as although the 100 places at the last session were fully booked, approximately 40 people were absent without notice.
As part of our continued support for music education in Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Music Service and Charanga invite you to save the following dates for future CPD sessions on using the Charanga platform:
Tuesday 16th November – Introductory session including the new ‘Model Scheme’
Monday 17th January - Introductory session
Monday 2nd February - Navigation of extra resources/lesson building
Tuesday 8th March - Improvisation
Wednesday 2nd April - Introductory session
Monday 13th June - Composing
Tuesday 28th June – Model Music Curriculum Next Steps
Once Charanga set these sessions up on their booking system, links will be shared with all Charanga users in the county.
Best wishes from the HMS team!