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Voices Foundation and David Ross Education Trust announced as recipients of Teacher Development Fund

The Voices Foundation and the David Ross Education Trust have received a grant of £150,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) to help deliver a pioneering initiative which focuses on embedding singing as an agent for overall school improvement.

The generous grant, donated by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund, will enable the two organisations to harness the power of singing to bring about sustainable change for whole schools. The work will be delivered over the next two academic years across schools based in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, where a significant number of pupils experience disadvantage.

The Teacher Development Fund is a new initiative that supports the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and embeds learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to support teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience to teach non-arts subjects using arts based approaches.

The Voices Foundation and the David Ross Education Trust share a passionate belief that music acts as a significant agent for school improvement and that it should be central to school life. The programme aims to improve outcomes in literacy, language and communication, cognitive development and behaviour, by developing a whole-school singing culture.

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive at PHF said: “Learning through the arts can engage and inspire young people, support key educational outcomes and develop skills that prepare them for the next phase of their lives. For many young people, particularly those experiencing the most disadvantage, the only opportunity to gain access to arts education is at school. That’s why we are delighted to announce the six partnerships that have received a grant from our Teacher Development Fund. We were impressed by the quality of applications and look forward to seeing how the projects equip teachers with the skills and confidence needed to provide quality and impactful education and learning through the arts.”

Simon Toyne, Executive Director of Music at the David Ross Education Trust, said: “Schools which place music at the heart of school life, engaging every pupil and every adult, every day, see lives transform. In partnership with The Voices Foundation, we look forward to working with Paul Hamlyn Foundation over the next two years to explore at a profound level the connection between purposeful musicmaking, academic attainment, social confidence and wellbeing”.

Ed Milner, Interim Chief Executive of The Voices Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Together with the
David Ross Education Trust, we are passionate about the wider educational impacts of singing in schools, particularly on pupils facing disadvantage. Working with Paul Hamlyn Foundation will enable us to further explore and measure this impact.”

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