CALL TO ACTION – We encourage all schools to start talking to their music tutors (Associate or not) NOW about timetabling the showcasing of musical opportunities for pupils during terms 5 & 6 with a view to seeing more pupils taking up tuition for academic year 22-23.
This can be possible whether schools are fully open or not.
In academic year 2020-2021, we estimated that 900-1200 fewer school pupils (approx. 25%) had received instrumental / vocal tuition from our Associates than during academic year 19-20. Bearing in mind the established importance of Music to Wiltshire children’s well-being, that should be of concern to schools as should its impact on the incomes of approx. 90 freelancers / small businesses.
One of the key factors which has affected this was the break in the usual cycle of tutor and music leaders being able to recruit new pupils in terms 5 & 6, often by providing showcases of various sorts in schools.
With advice from our new Expert Group for Progression and other colleagues, we’ve developed a plan and a set of resources which will mitigate against this gap in opportunity arising again
Where possible we will highlight and share schools’ plans and responses so others can benefit from solutions they’ve found.
We also encourage schools and Associates to:
- Consider providing reduced price or even free taster sessions to those pupils interested as a potential bridge between the showcasing / inspiration and actually starting lessons (face to face or virtual).
- Consider the potential for some online sessions / tuition between June and September if it is likely to sustain interest and lead to longer term engagement.
- Secondary Schools and Associates may also wish to consider running introductory First Access programmes across part of the next academic year
We hope to support new pupils who may wish to start as soon as term 5 and 6 in this academic year but will need to know school, instrument and for those in eligible ‘categories’, any tuition subsidy requirements) by 9am on 23rd May at the very latest. We cannot, at this stage, 100% guarantee that we will be able to deliver a suitable instrument to the school / pupil at start of term 5 and 6
What we have done (April 2021 onwards)
- We have created a template Powerpoint presentation for schools to use in assemblies (both live and virtual) to showcase the musical opportunities available to their pupils. The presentation is customisable so teachers can add their own school logo and relevant information. Simply download, customise, and go! The template can also be turned into a short film if required to send out to parents / carers. Guidance and pointers on using the template can be found here.
- We’ve revamped and refreshed the resources in our #DontDropMusic campaign toolkit. Why not download the documents for schools and parents and get involved?
- We’ve also clarified the process for requesting tuition subsidies (for those in eligible categories) and instruments for new starters in term 6. If you have pupils who could benefit from this support then why not fill in a subsidy request form?
Alongside this, we’ve provided our Associates with a range of resources to support them in making their own ‘promo’ videos.
We all want to see more pupils taking up tuition for the academic year 21-22 so we urge all schools to talk to their music tutors NOW about showcasing what’s on offer.
If you use any of our resources above, or if you develop your own ways to increase tuition uptake, we’d love to hear about it. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org