Inclusion Policy

Inclusion in music in Camden

We aim to make sure that every child in Camden can join in with musical activities that matter to them. Children should be able to take part in music in a way that suits them.

We understand that lots of things can make this difficult. Everyone is different, children may have additional needs, or may live in circumstances which make it difficult for them to take part. What we offer may not be familiar to parents, or it may feel like these activities are not for them. The cost of taking part may be a barrier for some families. We need to be better at finding out what people want and value in music making, when and where they want it, and how to let everyone know what is available.

We have signed the Talk into Action pledge, promising to consider this in everything we do.

Our Inclusion Lead is Rachel Barnes rachel.barnes@camden.gov.uk

How we do this

We help families pay for Camden Music services

  • Primary school children who qualify for Free School Meals have half-price lessons, instrument hire and groups
  • Secondary school children can apply to their school for half-price or free lessons and can have half-price hire and groups
  • Parents can pay in installments for lessons and groups
  • We have some bursaries for children where music will make a difference, and whose parents cannot afford to pay for all their music activities. Pupils must be referred by their school.
  • We have an Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme, where we can buy new instruments with a discount and parents can pay in interest free installments

In schools

  • Most of Camden’s primary schools offer at least one year of free, whole-class instrumental lessons to each child and work with families to encourage pupils to continue learning
  • Pupils can hire instruments if they are having lessons with Camden Music Service
  • Our primary and secondary schools work together to share information about pupils’ musical achievements and needs as they change schools
  • We work to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in everything they do. This might include looking at how a music curriculum reflects the pupils in that school.

With families

  • We work hard to let parents know what is possible for their children
  • We offer help with entering children for music exams and with choosing the best activities for their child
  • We share information about free and low-cost opportunities offered by our Hub partners and others
  • We ask children, young people and their parents what they think about our activities

For children with additional needs

  • We are looking for funding to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to take part in our activities – this might be extra staff or equipment
  • We are creating new musical opportunities for children whose special educational needs cannot be met within our existing groups. In response to parent feedback we are piloting an after-school group for children with learning disabilities.
  • We train tutors to work more effectively with pupils with SEND

What we want to do next

  • Keep parents informed through parent meetings in schools
  • Contact parents whose children’s lives could be transformed through taking part in music
  • Put video messages on school websites linked to whole class performances
  • Celebrate the diversity of children and young people who take part in our activities to attract more pupils
  • Fundraise to develop our activities for pupils with SEND
  • Commission new music from female and global majority composers for our groups to play
  • Make links with communities which do not access our services to learn how we can change or add to what we offer to better serve these groups
  • Talk to more of Camden’s children and young people to find out about their musical interests, to help us to improve what we offer
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