Congratulations to BIRMINGHAM MUSIC EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP on winning the Music Education Award, presented at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence. “Sustainable, long term programmes of support” is the mantra for Birmingham Music Education Partnership and this year they clearly demonstrated that this is being realised.

This award is testament to the consistent, determined and visionary work which has been going on across Birmingham in recent years as the team have worked to build structures that deliver for schools and young people in the long term.

There is evidence of determination and resilience here, where authenticity of the education being provided is the right and proper focus. To this end, it is good to see original research being commissioned in partnership with Birmingham City University – helping to identify needs through analysis as well as through anecdote.

There is much to note, including the development within the vocal strategy of using song to develop language acquisition amongst children and their families newly arrived into the City. This is targeted, powerful and life changing activity.

The offer of world music instruments as part of instrumental provision with Dhol, Djembe, Harmonium, Sitar, Steel Pans and Tabla is another example of authenticity at work as is the strong partnership activity, for example with the National Youth Orchestra in support of talented pupils.

Finally, crucially and with an eye to the future – professional development is being taken seriously amongst existing staff and in the next generation through association with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

This is a hub that understands its purpose as the convenor and instigator of musical activity and opportunity within Britain’s second city.