Saturday, 24 June 2017

Things are happening

(A short update to say that the issues have not been neglected, and things are happening behind the scenes.)

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The younger groups have got the short straw in the CWYM Summer Concert on 1 July 2017


A copy of my comments (on the copy of the Facebook CWYM poster for the concert - on 1 July 2017 starting at 1800 at the Lighthouse by the way).  I don't think my comments will be visible to others on Facebook, so I'm reproducing them below:

The Wessex Fanfares and Starter and Middle Strings are, yet again, put down in a pre-concert at 1800, which is something that I and some others on SWYM Committee had (on previous occasions, I am of course no longer on the Committee) had reservations about, as it downplays their role and reduces their audience. Given the massive pressure that WYO players have been put under, why not make the summer concert similar to the December one, with Fanfares and WSS/WMS in the first half (starting at 1930, not 1800), and WYO in the second half of the concert? This would give the younger groups the full audience they deserve, and mean that WYO players (many of whom have GCSE and A levels) have a more relaxing term after their very heavy Gala concert programme in January to March (with 18 rehearsals in the schedule!).

Serious question marks over the ethical standards and culture at the WYO/Bournemouth and Poole College


(Post made at 2110 UK time on 08 Jun 2017. This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until 4 February 2017 Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about the running of the musically excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM and the management of the CWYM and College. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).



The WYO/Bournemouth and Poole College told me, twice in succession after I queried this, and in writing, that there was no rehearsal schedule for this term. Yet there was one (see here). How could this happen? I await the WYO/College's explanation (see this open letter). I can think of two possibilities. Either (to use the words of former FBI Director James Comey in his testimony on another matter earlier today) those statements were "lies plain and simple", or the WYO/College leadership managed somehow to forget that a schedule was sent out this term, despite one having been sent out regularly every term for many, many previous occasions. Personally I think I would struggle to find the second explanation credible.   

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

An open letter to BPCollege Principal and Freedom of Information Officer, in the light of yesterday's FoIA response

(Post made at 2352 UK time on 07 Jun 2017. This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until 4 February 2017 Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about the running of the musically excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM and the management of the CWYM and College. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).


This is a copy of an open (i.e. public) letter emailed to the Bournemouth and Poole College earlier today, after analysis of the response received yesterday to my Freedom of Information Act request of 20 April. See here for the full details of the correspondence under that request; the letter also reflects my concerns about the reliability of information supplied by the College, in particular the "WYO Key Facts" document recently sent to schools (see here).

Freedom of Information Request (no 3, 20 April): complete correspondence, including College Response (late, 6 June)

(Post made at 2318 UK time on 07 Jun 2017. This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until 4 February 2017 Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about the running of the musically excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM and the management of the CWYM and College. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).


Yesterday 6 June I finally received (the main part, but not all, in particular no information about which schools the schedule was sent to, presumably none) a response to my Freedom of Information request of 20 April, which was due under the Act by 23 May at the latest. (Previous posts referring to this particular request are here and here, but I have put the entire email chain below for ease of reference, with most recent emails at the top). 

Note: the WYO Schedule attached to Mr Roberts' email of 6 June can be found here: page 1 and page 2.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

If you have alternative suggestions to sort out the current WYO/CWYM situation, please contact me asap


(Post made at 2358 UK time on 06 Jun 2017. This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until 4 February 2017 Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about the running of the musically excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM and the management of the CWYM and College. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).


I put my suggestions for improving the current (extremely unsatisfactory) situation a few weeks ago here. Since then I have received further evidence reinforcing my view that the current situation is unlikely to prove tenable. So if you have credible alternative suggestions please contact me asap.
  
(You can do this publicly via comments on this blog or on my Patrick SWYM Facebook account, or if you prefer, privately via a Facebook message to that account). 


Saturday, 3 June 2017

An apology to all recent and current WYO children

(Post made at 0910 UK time on 03 Jun 2017. This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until 4 February 2017 Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about some aspects of the running of the musically excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM and the management of the College. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).


I wish I'd known earlier what I now know. In which case, as SWYM Chairman I would have raised concerns and blown the whistle much earlier.  A teacher took me aside a couple of years ago and said s/he was concerned that some, possibly many, WYO players were being put under too much pressure.  As this was the first time any concerns had been put to me, and I believed what I had been told when I became Chairman (namely that WYO players were always told that school must come first) I defended the WYO and told the teacher that this ("school comes first") was the WYO's policy.


Friday, 2 June 2017

Am losing confidence that BPCollege can be trusted to investigate itself for complaints of significant failings

Every day, I receive more evidence of highly questionable behaviour, some of which the College must have known about. (Apart from anything else, I raised concerns with them several months ago, yet their response was to shoot the messenger).

Recent events have also led me to question whether the College act with the required independence when investigating complaints, and whether the College really cares about the accuracy/reliability of its external communications.