Union offers advice for music teachers made redundant in local authority cuts

hymn sheetThe MU has launched an initiative to help music teachers losing their jobs as a result of local authority cuts to keep working.

Many music teachers have been made redundant as councils try to save money, so the MU has begun working with Co-Operatives UK to encourage them to stay within the profession.

At an event in Parliament yesterday, they launched the ‘Altogether Now‘ guide, authored by David Barnard (MU member and founder of Swindon Music Co-op), which the MU commissioned along with template legal documents put together by Anthony Collins Solicitors, specialists in Co-operative law.

The MU has supported the formation of new Music Teacher Co-operatives in such places as Milton Keynes, Denbighshire, the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire, and these have joined the longer established co-operatives in Swindon, Newcastle and North East Lincolnshire. It is through this work that the MU developed the ‘Altogether Now’ guide and supporting documentation in order to enable groups of teachers to consider forming their own co-operatives.

Co-operatives allow teachers, who have lost their jobs working for local authority music services, to continue teaching together in an environment that values every contribution and encourages the sharing of expertise.

Co-operatives also empower teachers to have a greater control over their working lives. They are a progressive option and provide a sense of purpose and unity as an alternative to fragmentation, which can lead to teachers working in isolation and in competition with one another.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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