Principles of the new structure of the Ceredigion Music Service ensure future opportunity and consistency for pupils. This will be one of the messages to be presented at a meeting of the Council's Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 09 May 2019. The Committee will receive a presentation on the new structure of the service and be given the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.
The new structure is reshaping the service to make it sustainable in the future. As part of this, the service can generate additional income by offering singing lessons in day centres and offering music therapy in additional learning needs centres.
Meinir Ebbsworth is the Council's Corporate Lead Officer for Schools. She said, "Our music service has a long and successful history and we want to see it thrive in the future. We want to continue to support music provision when faced with the need to make significant financial savings.”
The new structure is based on five principles:
• that any pupil can use the music service
• that ensembles, orchestra and choirs continue at no extra cost
• that a team of core staff are employed on the same terms and conditions of employment
• that the charging policy is consistent and fair
• that pupils who receive free school meals, or who are studying music at GCSE or A level, will not be charged.
The school service has to make almost half a million pounds of savings in 2019-2021. Under the new structure, there will be a potential loss of up to two jobs.
Meinir Ebbsworth added, “Unfortunately, financial pressure is forcing us to restructure the service. This is the last thing we want to do and we are using the formal process to do this in a fair way. The council's budget has been cut by £39m in seven years. We have no choice but to make tough cuts in all areas of the council's budget.
If there is enough demand for the service, the income will be able to support the current number of staff. The amount charged will be very reasonable and equal to £4 per lesson.”