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CPD Centre West Midlands have recently had their seventh successful learner graduate from the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators programme!

The centre has to date attracted over 40 learners from different disciplines including Early Years and Primary Practitioners, Instrumental Teachers working for Music Education Hubs or privately, and Community Musicians working in the non-formal sector. The learners come from right across the UK and Channel Islands! Successful learners have praised both the Distance Learning and the Local Partnership routes for the qualification, with 100% of completed learners surveyed rating the support provided by their mentor as ‘Excellent.’ ‘My mentor really understood my circumstances and some of the barriers to learning that created. Together, we were able to map my study schedule. She was only an email, phone or skype call away. The speed of response was incredible – my work was often marked and feedback issued with a couple of hours. This really allowed me to make the most of my time.’ The centre continues to develop its provision and range of learning materials, with innovation driven by a commitment to support learner needs. Programme Leader Dr Liz Stafford is delighted by the learners’ success to date, ‘We are so proud of our seven successful CME graduates, and wish them every success as they move forward with the next stage of their career development. It is a really exciting time for our centre as over the next six months we will be supporting another 10 learners to completion, with the remaining learners due to complete in 2019.’

How the Trinity CME reflects the new DfE Standard for Teacher Development

In July 2016, the Department for Education released new standards for Teacher Development. As a provider of professional development in the form of the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that our CPD offer meets these standards.

This short statement sets out how the Trinity CME at CPD Centre West Midlands reflects the new DfE Standard for Teacher Development, with reference to the implementation guidance provided by the Department alongside the standards documentation.

Standard 1: Professional development should have a clear focus on improving and evaluating student outcomes.

Throughout the CME programme, learners are required to reflect on how their actions affect pupil outcomes. Through the Needs Analysis and PAP processes, learners identify their key areas for development, and with the help of their mentor, develop a strategic plan to address these. This ensures that the programme is specifically tailored to each learner’s needs, and therefore to their own students’ outcomes. The PAP is a working document, referred to, expanded and revised throughout the programme. In tandem with the Reflective Statement proforma, these provide tools to help participants change their own practice, and evaluate its impact.

In Unit 1, learners discover why children and young people value music. This helps learners to devise lessons and schemes of work that are engaging and motivating for their students, therefore improving student outcomes.

In Unit 2, learners discover how to effectively plan and deliver music lessons, and crucially how to evaluate these against expected student outcomes. This encourages an outcome-centred approach, so that learners are always evaluating the success of their teaching through the impact it has had on students’ learning.

Unit 3 encourages learners to become reflective practitioners, questioning and considering everything that they do in the light of student outcomes.

In Unit 4, the focus is on behaviour management, and learners explore how promoting positive behaviour rather than sanctioning negative behaviour can have a lasting impact on improving students’ behavioural outcomes.

Standard 2: Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise.

The assessment criteria of the Trinity CME was drawn up in consultation with the music education sector, and therefore represents best practice across all music education settings. Trinity College London has provided a comprehensive reading list mapped against the assessment criteria, which gives learners the opportunity to explore the theory that underpins the programme.

The content devised for our version of the CME draws heavily on the work of music education researchers and theorists such as Keith Swanwick, Professor Susan Hallam, Janet Mills, Gary Spruce, and Dr Martin Fautley, as well as the research work of the programme leader, Dr Elizabeth Stafford.

The mentoring system devised by our centre provides ample opportunity to draw out and constructively challenge learners’ existing beliefs both about their own practice and their students’ outcomes. Mentors and learners’ communicate frequently face-to-face, via skype, phone and email, and there is even the opportunity for mentors to observe learners directly in the classroom. This system remains constant throughout the learners’ time on the programme (up to two years), so learners’ are challenged, motivated and supported from start to finish.

Our centre engages an independent quality assurance consultant to evaluate all aspects of the programme. We are also subject to an annual quality assurance visit from the examination board, Trinity College London. This ensures that our programme continues to meet expected standards.

Standard 3: Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge.

Our version of the CME provides two years’ worth of mentoring for each learner from an expert music educator. The mentor role is one of a ‘critical friend’. Mentors collaborate with learners to structure their journey through the programme, but also use their expertise to challenge learners when necessary. This may be to dispel learners’ preconceptions, to raise learners’ expectations of themselves and their pupils, or to encourage learners to expand their practice rather than clinging to their ‘usual’ way of doing things. Mentors encourage learners to reflect on how the changes in their practice impact on pupil outcomes, and to change and adapt their approaches as necessary.

It is not just the mentoring relationship that provides collaboration and challenge. Unit 1 asks learners to collect and act on feedback from students, Unit 2 requires learners to provide evidence of effective partnership working, and Unit 3 requires learners to use stakeholder feedback to improve their practice. At any point in the programme, the learner can submit a ‘Third Party Evidence Form” completed by a senior expert colleague. All submitted evidence is assessed by the Programme Leader with detailed feedback provided and suggestions made for improvements where required.

Standard 4: Professional development programmes should be sustained over time.

The Trinity CME provides a sustained financial and time-based commitment to professional development, costing £700 and lasting up to 2 years. The Course Brochure, Terms and Conditions and Programme Handbook explicitly set out the commitment required by learners to successfully complete the programme.

Standard 5: Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership.

The Trinity CME is a qualification for individuals. However, CPD Centre West Midlands works with many ‘clusters’ of learners who are sponsored by their organisations, most notably the Youth Music funded organisations Musinc and AudioActive, and the Devon and Surrey Music Education Hubs. With these clusters, the centre ensures that a member of the sponsor organisation’s senior leadership team is fully aware of all the requirements of the CME, in effect training them to act as informal mentors for their enrolled staff. We encourage the development of ‘Study Groups’ for learners on cluster routes to share their experiences and support each other through the programme, facilitated by these key senior leaders. In all cluster route cases, a ‘CME Taster Day’ is provided prior to sign-up so that all staff understand the requirements of the programme before committing to it.


We are thrilled to share the news that Adam Moffatt is our first learner to complete the CME! Adam, a guitar tutor with Wolverhampton Music Hub, completed the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (Trinity CME) in a little over 18 months. We are extremely proud of Adam, and of his mentor Graeme Rudland for supporting Adam on his CME journey. Congratulations Adam!


CME Mentor Recognised in New Year Honours List

We are delighted to congratulate CME mentor John Clemson on being awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours. John has been awarded the MBE for his significant contribution to music in Birmingham. A former head of Birmingham Music Service, and current Chair of Music Therapy Works, John is a well-known figure in music education locally and nationally, and we are pleased to see him recognised with this honour.

Music Education Expo 2015

The UK's largest conference and exhibition for music teachers took place at The Barbican, London on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March 2015

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