Today, 23rd April 2013, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and The Charles Wolfson Trust announce that they will be donating £2 million over four years to establish a new charitable entity The Music In Secondary Schools Trust, which has been specifically created to roll out a ground-breaking music programme, “The Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme”, to schools across the country.

The “The Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme” will give every child at participating schools the opportunity to study a musical instrument as part of the compulsory curriculum in order to exceed, by ages 16 and 18, the expected academic outcomes for all students.

The aim is to improve discipline, commitment to learning, develop team working skills, and to enrich the lives of students by providing regular music tuition and performance opportunities as part of ensemble and orchestral groups. At Highbury Grove, the programme has demonstrated that music can improve the entire academic experience of students, and it should be noted that this is not about creating performing artists, but changing the lives of secondary school students.

The programme is modeled after the hugely successful scheme developed by Truda White, former head teacher at the Highbury Grove School, Islington North London. Before implementing the music scheme, Highbury Grove had an Ofsted rating in 2002 of 4 and whilst described as effective and improving, the inspectors noted there was much to be done. By 2007, one year after beginning the programme the school was judged to be good and three years later, once the music scheme was implemented, the Highbury Grove School received an Ofsted rating of 1 (outstanding).

Schools will be selected through a thorough application process with top priority being given to schools in areas of deprivation or communities where access to high quality arts projects is limited. Other criteria include an Ofsted 3 judgment of satisfactory – requires improvement and having high aspirations for all.

After extensive research into potential partner schools, 4 were invited to submit an expression of interest. The Lister School in Newham has been successful and will become the first partner school for September 2013. Both the Lister School and Highbury Grove School will run the programme during the 2013 – 2014 academic year, with a further two schools for 2014 – 2015.

Madeleine Lloyd Webber said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with The Charles Wolfson Trust to launch the Music In Secondary Schools Trust, which we believe will have a profound impact on learning for generations to come. The Highbury Grove School has started something very special with their music programme, and this new initiative will expand the work they’ve done to impact upon thousands of secondary school pupils. This is one of the most exciting projects The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has been a part of.”                                                                                                                                  


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