New Developments: Good Schools Guide, CRBs & ‘Music Educator’ Qualification

Three disparate topics to discuss today, but they’re all drawn together by their newness.

Firstly, the Good Schools Guide website has become more informative since I last looked. Access to the most comprehensive advice is still behind a paywall, but the site now contains quite a lot of high quality free articles on various relevant topics such as Understanding the 11+, State School Admissions: How to Secure a Place, and An Introduction to Special Needs.

Secondly, Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are becoming streamlined over the coming months. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, by the end of the year, the CRB and ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) will be merged into a single, new body to be called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Of most interest is that:

A new online Update Service will also be introduced from early 2013, which will allow individuals (if they choose to subscribe to it and pay a small fee) to apply for a criminal record check once and then, if they need a similar sort of check again, to reuse their existing certificate, with their employing organisation checking online to see if it is still up-to-date (FSB website)

CRB checks are not a legal requirement for private tutoring, but many tutors have CRB certificates, and anything that makes applying for one easier will undoubtedly be welcomed.

Finally, the new ‘Qualified Music Educator’ (QME) qualification is taking shape, with a launch likely in Spring 2013. This new qualification will not be mandatory, and neither will it be a substitute for formal training as a musician (at music college, for example), or formal training as a teacher (PGCE/ QME). Instead it is a response to perceived ‘inadequate professional development provision for creative practitioners’ in the music context, and will include training in one-to-one tuition. It is being developed by Arts Council England and Creative & Cultural Skills, and the training will be ‘academically-based with assessment’. What musicians make of the qualification remains to be seen. See the Arts Council website for further details.

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