Credit where it’s due…

As regular readers know, I’ve crossed swords with Ed Vaizey from time to time and I’ve not been entirely polite about Michael Gove. I am doing my best to enjoy the feeling that I really ought to be eating at least some of my words.

I’ve never doubted the love of the arts that both these gentlemen have – I’ve either said or written as much to both. However, I have had concerns, some of which remain.

Yet the publication of the Henley Report and Gove’s sensible response to it calls for magnanimity.

One concern is that they haven’t listened to expert opinion in the past – they are clearly listeningto Henley, who in turn had listened very hard to a lot of people in the music education world. I hope this trend will continue, and that these listening skills will be applied more widely.

Gove’s decision to adopt Henley’s recommendation to continue funding music services for a further year while working out a plan for the future shows another quality – leadership. One of the main lessons I learnt from the Clore Leadership Programme course I went on years is ago is something Roy Clare said about the things leaders do. One of them was ‘Buy Time’. If you can buy time to enable you to do a better job than you would have done by just jumping in, everyone will be better off in the long run.

What’s important is what is done with that time – and I hope that all music educators will continue to have a voice in that process.

Lest anyone out there might think I’m going soft – don’t worry. We should all continue to scrutinise what’s going on, and I shall certainly be doing so.



Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 20:27  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well Done Lady Eff, we all know how much work you and Lord Eff, and many others, have put in over this recently.
    And we know you will never go soft.

  2. I agree, well said, and it is good to know that the brakes have gone on, if only temporarily. One of the main horrors of this and other cuts is the feeling that too much is being done without proper consultation or genuine understanding of the complexity and interrelatedness of things. I must say I was a little puzzled by the choice of Mr Henley but it seems that his position as a non-politician, outside the education service, combined with his intelligence and love of music, have been great assets to the process.

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