Thursday, April 04, 2013

Gove "could close Chetham's"

This report from Channel 4 News last night is about the latest developments at Chetham's in Manchester. It suggests that after ISI findings and a Manchester City Council report, the institution has until May to address alleged failings in its management structures and child protection systems and that if this is not done satisfactorily, the education secretary Michael Gove might have the powers to close it down.

This school is too vital and precious a presence in British musical life to allow such a thing to occur. We always hear bad news first, but the number of fine musicians and happy people who have also emerged from its portals over the years is high, and now many devoted, honest, hard-working and non-abusive teachers are there to guide musical youngsters through top-level training and see them into the profession. We hope profoundly that the necessary issues can be addressed rapidly and thoroughly and put right once and for all. We need specialist music schools, we need more of them, and we need them to function reliably.

Of course, the National Union of Teachers has just passed an unprecedented motion of no confidence in Gove.