Headteachers' Perspectives on the In Harmony Programme
23 March 2016
Arts Council England commissioned NFER to undertake a national evaluation of the In Harmony social and music education programme 2012–2015. In Harmony is funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council England, and is currently being piloted in six areas. The evaluation is exploring the impact of In Harmony for children, families, schools and wider communities, and the future sustainability of the programme.
This paper provides an overview of a discussion group held by NFER with headteachers from seven In Harmony schools, in October 2015. The discussion focused on the following topics: the distinctive features of In Harmony, evidence and examples of impact, In Harmony pedagogy, and sustainability and future development.
- Headteachers feel the distinguishing features of In Harmony include its whole school approach, the intensity and quality of provision, the importance of public performance, and opportunities for progression
- Headteachers feel that In Harmony is making a difference to schools’ culture, pupils’ personal, social and musical skills, and parents’ engagement with school – although they note that it will take more time to reveal the full impacts of In Harmony
- The special pedagogies involved in In Harmony include a tailored approach to schools’ contexts, integration with the curriculum, and headteachers all noted the calibre and dedication of the professional musicians and music educators involved
- Schools want to continue the programmes through internal capacity building, and working in partnership with music education hubs, secondary schools and the community.