Music Education UK magazine and website approached Anita to write two articles on headteachers’ role in promoting/developing music in their school, and the wider impact this has on the school and pupils.
This was in 2011, a time when music in schools was facing threats from the English Ebacc and the possible removal of music from the national curriculum.
The brief for the articles was to: “showcase schools in which the leadership and strong support for music in the school by the headteacher has had a strikingly positive impact on the school”.
Rather than being purely journalistic, the aim was to convey various advocacy messages:
- to headteachers, the advantages of supporting music
- to music education sector stakeholders, the fact that headteacher support is crucial, and
- to parents the fact that if they care about music provision they need to lobby headteachers.
I researched and wrote two articles, one focused on Primary heads, the other on Secondary heads. For the Primaries article I spoke with heads of schools in Southwark (Ilderton), Newcastle (Hazlewood) and Cornwall (Penpol). For the Secondaries article I spoke with heads in Brighton (Patcham High), Hertford (Simon Balle) and Penzance (Humphrey Davy).
The pieces gave an overview of the wide-ranging impacts of music education on the schools, pupils, parents and the local community.
I have also written articles for Music Education UK covering the crisis facing Wales’ music education; and music educators’ views on the National Plan for Music Education.