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Bridget’s Blog: A Strong Commitment to Music Education

4th November 2022

Music Mark CEO Bridget Whyte

At Music Mark, we have three core roles:

  1. To support our membership, through training, events, resources and day-to-day advice
  2. To connect our membership with colleagues within and beyond the music education sector
  3. To influence policy and practice on behalf of our membership through advocacy

As we head into our 10th year it is very unlikely that this will change. What has changed periodically is the work which goes on underneath these – work which links to our mission and vision and the strategic priorities identified as part of our three to five-year plan.

Last year I wrote to our Membership to highlight the fact that Music Mark would be applying to the Arts Council in England (ACE) to become one of their Investment Principles Support Organisations (IPSO). Music Mark has received a growing level of annual funding from ACE since 2018 to support Music Hub partnerships in England, so applying to be an IPSO was the natural next step. We felt that to secure multi-year core funding would allow us to further develop our role supporting those working in Music Education, amplifying our impact.

I am delighted to share that we have been successful in our application! We are thrilled to have this commitment from ACE, and believe it signifies not only that the work of Music Mark is valued, but also that of music education as a whole. This three-year commitment, we believe, is in recognition of the advice and support we’ve given to colleagues over the past few years, especially during the pandemic, and our valued advisory relationship with ACE and the Department for Education.

We will be telling everyone more about our ambitious plans in due course – this funding does not ‘kick in’ until April 2023 – but for now I can reveal that our strategic priorities going forward will be closely linked to our core roles:

  • Support, through an engaging, rigorous and diverse programme of training and professional development
  • Partnerships, facilitating and participating in partnerships at a national, local and regional level
  • Advocacy for the importance of music education
  • Insights and Impact, commissioning and championing high quality research and its outcomes.

Sadly, whilst we may be pleased with the news we’ve received today, we recognise that some of our membership (and of course many in the music and wider creative sector) may not have received such good news following the announcement of ACE’s investment programme portfolio.  Support is our primary role and we will do all we can to support those who are facing difficult decisions and next steps in any way we can.