ISA President Lord Lexden took part in a debate at the House of Lords on 18 October, focusing on the state of music education in schools.
Lord Lexden spoke proudly of the ISA and its members’ schools within his speech at the House of Lords, even highlighting some of the work that ISA schools have done to contribute to the development of music education in the sector, as well as towards state partnerships.
Lord Lexden said: “Music is one of the great strengths of the independent sector of education… In the overwhelming majority of ISC member schools, where the average school roll is only 165, life without music would be inconceivable.
A few days ago I received the latest journal of the Independent Schools Association, featuring news of recent arts awards won by our member schools. Top of a considerable list came Hulme Hall Grammar School in Stockport, winners of the Incorporated Society of Musicians trust gold award…
As this debate loomed, (my colleague Mr Neil Roskilly) wrote to me as follows:
‘What is so pleasing is that many independent schools are working with state schools in partnership to promote music. Our own Association is doing a great deal. For example, Queen Ethelburga’s in York works closely with a range of local primaries. Our Chairman’s Old Vicarage School in Derby has a wonderful joint choir in which children from a local primary play a major part. At a recent concert in Derby they sang to an audience of some 30,000 people’.
Lord Lexden continued, “To a greater extent than ever before, independent schools are being actively encouraged to come together in mutually beneficial partnerships with their counterparts in state schools…
Those telling words—“spreading the benefits of music”—must be kept ringing in the ears of independent and state schools. They must ring in the ears of government Ministers too—at high volume. Music partnerships between independent and state schools will not of course solve the profound problems which this debate has identified but they can make a useful contribution.”
You can view the full debate here.