Why Gove’s shakeup of music education in schools hits the wrong notes

After the news that the new £171m school music ‘hubs’ are not benefiting those children who need it most, Michele Hanson, writing in the Guardian, says the education secretary might have learned from Chaucer that hubs can cause a stink …

…If you take a system, pick it up, shake it about, put it down again and give it a silly new name, the only difference you’re going to make is more of a mess and more work for teachers, who are already sick to death of non-stop government initiatives written in gibberish.

They always seem to be doing this to poor old education. Gove plans to change GCSE grades from letters to numbers. Schools have been turned into “academies”. Not much “discernible improvement” there either, unless you count more jobs for managers and profit for private individuals.

And what’s wrong with local councils running things? They used to do a pretty good job with their “supply pools”. They knew all their supply teachers and schools, teachers and schools would ring in, council would efficiently match them up and sort them out. Then in came the private agencies, down went the teachers’ wages, up went private gain, and nothing improved.

“What’s a ‘hub’,” asks Fielding, 35 years a teacher. “It’s a pile of money with managers sitting on top of it, giving wads of it out to their favourites,” explains a younger teacher, who has just tried to get money out of a hub and failed. To him the money didn’t seem to be going to the poorer children who needed it most.

And the hub managers often aren’t even musicians.

This all brings to mind a suggested method in Chaucer’s Summoner’s Tale, for sharing resources via a “hub”. A hypocritical, greedy and thieving friar is advised to position his 12 colleagues, kneeling, with their noses stuck into the end of the cartwheel’s hollow spokes. He then farts into the hub, distributing his bounty equally.

Hot air? Bit of a nasty smell? I see parallels. Perhaps “hub” isn’t such a good name after all.

More at:  Why Gove’s shakeup of music education in schools hits the wrong notes

There’s not much in the way of analysis of what’s actually happening (or not happening) with music hubs in this article – what do you think is going wrong – or do they just need more time? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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