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Lead Schools

Leicestershire Music Hub (LMH) is looking to appoint Lead Schools, to work in partnership with them, to support and enhance the music education provided to children & young people in Leicester City and Leicestershire. The National Plan for Music sets out that Lead Schools should exemplify high-quality music teaching and champion best practice in their area. We are looking for at least 1 Primary, Secondary and Special school in both Leicester City and Leicestershire County local authority areas.

Lead Schools will share their perspectives, knowledge and experience to support LMH to understand and respond to the present challenges and opportunities within our local schools and how we can adapt our offers and ways of working to achieve maximum impact in these settings, including a strategic approach to inclusion.

Please note the following, which can be discussed and agreed as part of the application process, taken from the ACE document 'Lead Schools for Music', 'Where a Lead School is an academy, the NPME expects that their academy trust should also be involved in the Hub's work.'

To apply to become a Lead School, please click here

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further, please email

What is a Lead School?

A Lead School will play a distinct role supporting other schools to improve their music provision. They will be expected, but not limited, to:

  • Exemplify high-quality music provision and teaching
  • Champion best practice music education in their Music Hub area
  • Show commitment to curriculum delivery with significant timetable time, cocurricular opportunities, inclusive provision, and teacher development
  • Contribute to the development of a strategic approach to inclusion
  • Advocate for music education and the work of the Music Hub to colleagues in other schools

Music will be at the heart of a Lead School, striving for the best musical education for its young people.

The curriculum has considerable breadth and ambition underpinned by a strong shared vision of what excellence looks like. This starts within the EYFS classroom (where applicable) and has a clearly defined progression route with specific end goals identified.

Teaching and Learning
The school can exemplify outstanding pedagogy and subject knowledge across the team with evidence of systems and processes put in place to support this. Pupils' attainment and progress compares favourably with other subjects. Assessment is highly effective in supporting pupils' knowledge and skills development. High quality partnerships and extra-curricular opportunities enrich the musical education of all pupils.

Leadership and Management
Governors regularly hold the senior leaders and subject leader to account. The aims of the NPME, upheld through a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and access, drive the decision making when allocating resources and seeking out opportunities.

What is the expected commitment of Lead Schools?

LMH are keen to ensure that the work of Lead Schools should be driven by the needs of pupils, teachers, and schools within the Hub area.

Representative(s) from the Lead School will:

  • Attend, and host on a rota, termly Lead School planning meetings to help shape and design activity that will benefit the schools in the Hub Lead Organisation (HLO) area
  • Attend termly network meetings and the LM Music Educator's Conference (Free of Charge)
  • Keep an up to date reporting and impact record
  • Complete a minimum of one case study each year

In addition to the above commitments, representatives - in collaboration with LMH - will be expected to support and develop other schools. This could be:

  • Leading and presenting at network meetings
  • Leading and supporting CPD training events
  • School to school support to include mentoring and peer support
  • Resource bank creation and sharing
  • Sharing whole-school best practice and offering professional challenge
  • Sharing case studies
  • Audit school-based needs
  • Supporting collaborative music projects

What do Lead Schools receive in return?

  • Recognition as a Lead School with exemplary music education provision, to include exposure on LMH social media
  • An in-kind model of flexible/negotiated remuneration with additional partial paid cover release as appropriate and based on need and available budget
  • Where appropriate, one-off financial support for bespoke projects may happen
  • Lead Schools may be invited to represent the Music Hub at local events, national events, conferences, or other hub-related activities
  • A memorandum of understanding will be prepared between the Lead School and LM
  • A free ticket to the LM Music Educators' Conference (one per school).

How do schools become Lead Schools?

The Lead School will be initially in place for a minimum of 2 years, followed by a renewal application every 2 years.

The Lead School will need to demonstrate a whole school ethos of music, with the subject being at the heart of the school. They will be expected to have in place a 'gold', or 'working towards gold' Developing Quality Mark that has been awarded in the past 12 months. If the Developing Quality Mark award needs updating, it will take place as part of the application process.

You will need to identify which of the following areas of the NPME that you feel your schools excels in the most and could therefore be best placed to support others

  • Curriculum (intent, implementation & impact)
  • Instrumental and Vocal Lessons and Ensembles
  • Musical Events and Opportunities
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Leadership and Management
  • Other (please specify)

You will need to submit supporting documents as part of the application. These will include:

  • A supporting letter from SLT
  • A supporting letter from the governors
  • A supporting letter from the Multi Academy Trust (if appropriate)
  • One or more case studies on how the school has worked in partnership with another organisation and the impact of this
  • An up to date School Music Development Plan

There will be an open text box for you to tell us why you would like to become a Lead School. You could tell us about what would you bring to the LM vision of aiming for musical excellence in all schools in Leicester and Leicestershire and what would being a Lead School mean for your school?

What are the next steps if we are shortlisted?

The schools that have been short listed will receive one or more visits. Activities during the visit might include:

  • Observation of a selection of teaching situations including assemblies, lessons and clubs
  • Discussions with staff and pupils
  • Discussions with parents
  • Discussions with a governor and school leadership team
  • Discussions with subject leader
  • Scrutiny of further evidence which may include the Ofsted report, letters and feedback, media coverage and recordings and videos of student progress.
  • Data scrutiny on GCSE uptake and external exams (if applicable)
  • Data scrutiny on FSM & CLA, and number engaged in instrumental and vocal programmes and extra-curricular activity
  • Data scrutiny on SEND and numbers engaged in instrumental and vocal programmes and extra-curricular activity


Lead School Consultation - 28th February 2024

Information shared with schools - 15th March 2024

Applications Open - 21st March 2024

Deadline for application – April 26th 2024

Shortlisted schools informed – May 3rd 2024

Shortlisted school visits - from May 13th 2024

Lead schools informed and announced – July 1st 2024

Please note that this entire timeline we have outlined may shift based on any changes or delays from DfE / ACE. We will communicate any changes with all schools as and when these might happen.


  • Arts
    Leicestershire Music
    Music And Culture
    LCC 2


  • Arts
  • Leicestershire Music
  • LCC
  • Music And Culture
  • LCC 2