School Music Education Plans

Excerpt from ‘Music in schools: what hubs must do’ – Ofsted, Nov 2013:


Music hubs should, by April 2014, each prepare a school music education plan that enables them to:

  • promote themselves with schools as confident, expert leaders of music education in their areas, not simply as providers of services
  • expect and secure that all schools engage with them and the National Plan for Music Education
  • have regular supportive, challenging conversations with each of their schools about the quality of music education for all pupils in that school
  • support all schools in improving the music education they provide, especially in class lessons, and support them in evaluating it robustly
  • offer expert training and consultancy to schools, which supports school leaders and staff in understanding what musical learning, and good progress by pupils in music, are like
  • ensure that their own staff and partners are well trained and ready to do this work
  • spend a suitable proportion of their staff’s time on working with school leaders strategically, alongside their work in teaching pupils directly
  • publicise their work effectively to schools and explain how it can contribute to school improvement
  • facilitate school-to-school support as appropriate
  • promote high-quality curriculum progression in schools and ensure that hubs’ work in schools is integral to this
  • robustly evaluate the impact of their own work on pupils’ music education.

Schools should:

  • make better use of the provision and funding provided through hubs as part of the National Plan for Music Education
  • expect music hubs to provide them with expert advice and challenge – the challenging conversation – and take action on this
  • evaluate their musical provision more accurately, especially teaching and the curriculum, and seek training and advice as needed.

Arts Council England, supported by the Department for Education, should:

  • take rapid action to improve the reporting and accountability framework for music hubs, ensuring that it contains evaluation of the quality of the work of the hubs in schools; this should include the evaluative examination of hubs’ work
  • challenge hubs to achieve the best value from the public money they receive
  • guide hubs in developing and implementing their school music education plans.


Music education organisations should:

  • support the hubs in developing their work and their school music education plans
  • help develop better understanding of what works in achieving a better music education for all.

Ofsted will:

  • through its National Lead for Music and, as appropriate, other specialist music inspectors, support and challenge hubs in improving their work in schools, by:
    • discussing its findings within the music education sector, thus contributing to understanding and the debate with national bodies concerned with music education
    • visiting a sample of hubs and schools and looking at their work. ?
  • ensure that all school inspectors are familiar with the findings and recommendations within this report.

Read the Music in schools – what hubs must do executive summary or the Music in schools – what hubs must do full report.