Calderdale music service is still upbeat

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CALDERDALE Music Service could have a bright new future as a teaching “Hub”.

The council has confirmed that the 34 staff who currently provide instrumental tuition in schools are facing redundancy.

But a bid has been made under the National Plan for Music Education for a grant to operate in a completely different way from September.

“The music service has submitted a request for funding from the Arts Council which reflects an organisation in transition from a local authority service to a charitable trust limited by guarantee,” said Calderdale Council’s education spokesman Coun Ashley Evans.

“This was submitted in February and an announcement from the Arts Council is expected towards the end of May.”

Councillor Evans (Lib-Dem, Warley) said because the structure will change, it places 34 part-time music tutors at risk, as there is no guarantee that their work with the council will continue.

“It is for this reason that we have had to formally warn tutors of this possibility, which is only fair and it is not part of council cuts.

“However, the service has put together an excellent and credible bid so we are hopeful that they will win the funding and we will be able to continue the good work of the music school, albeit in a different format and with a different funding stream.”

Under the new system, funding can no longer be used to pay for small groups or individual instrumental tuition in schools.

Initial tuition will be delivered through whole-class teaching – a significant and contentious shift in delivery methodology.

“Individual and small group lessons have to be self-funding because they fall outside the provision identified by the criterion of the Hub funding,” said Coun Evans.