A new not-for-profit charitable trust called ‘West Sussex Music’ takes over the running of music services in West Sussex from next week.
The trust’s headquarters is at the Herbert Shiner School in Petworth. It takes on responsibility for 180 teaching staff and providing music lessons for 18,000 pupils in the county’s colleges and schools.
The County Council’s music service goes back over 50 years and has established an excellent reputation for making music. The decision to transfer responsibility to a trust is to secure the long term future of the service and to open up new and exciting opportunities.
Existing teaching staff will be retained and will transfer to the Trust. Pupils will not notice any difference as far as their teaching and lessons are concerned.
Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Music Service said: “The creation of West Sussex Music marks a new and exciting chapter in a county which has an unrivalled reputation and a long tradition in making music.
“I am sure the Trust will continue to build upon an enviable legacy. The advantage of being an independent charitable company will enable it to introduce new and exciting initiatives.”
James Underwood, the Chief Executive of West Sussex Music, said: “We will continue to ensure that every child in West Sussex has access to high quality music education. Our staff and tutors will work with enthusiasm and dedication to meet the needs of all young musicians and the aims of the government’s National Plan for Music Education.
“We will work closely with schools, parents and partner organisations to maintain a vibrant and varied programme throughout the county.
“Alongside the high quality teaching from our talented staff we will seek to organise, throughout the year, a wide range of musical opportunities and events to suit all ability levels and tastes.”