How to set up an Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) working group in your music service

This checklist outlines the process by Hertfordshire Music Service (HMS) set up an EDI working group – and has been enhanced by conversations within the Changing Tracks ED&I bootcamps and project manager meetings. It is offered as shared learning, rather than to be prescriptive.

1. Decide how many people you want in your working group, and from where you will source them.

The HMS ED&I working group has eight participants, including representatives from HR, curriculum music practitioners, WCET instrumental tutors, Hertfordshire Music Education Hub Music Forum, and the local authority Diversity and Inclusion team.

2. Decide how often you will meet.

(The HMS group runs for two hours, once every half term.)

3. Allocate budget to be able to pay hourly-paid staff, so everyone is on an equal footing.

4. Contact people directly to invite expressions of interest from each cohort you’d like to be represented, indicating that you’re looking for representation from across all areas of the service.

Indicate that hourly-paid staff will be remunerated. Include a frame of reference for the group, expected time commitment, and invite a short description of why people may like to be involve

HMS wrote to all areas of the service, leadership+ management team, tutors, administration staff+ Music Forum and the HCC Diversity and Inclusion team.

5. Speak with all applicants to establish availability and why they’d like to be involved.

Be clear about selection criteria and have other opportunities available to offer if you are oversubscribed. If necessary, at second stage, ask people to write up to 500 words on why they would like to be involved.

6. At the first meeting, take time to set up a formal Terms of Reference document, agreeing how you will you work together.

The HMS group spoke about how we had learnt music, what was important about it, what we’d like to achieve with the group. We also took time to agree how we would work, and to adopt Chatham house rules, to encourage open dialogue.

7. If not already in place, use  the Youth Music ED&I self-assessment tool in the next session – and begin to create actions on the action planning template.

8. When ready, publish the ED&I action plan on your staff intranet, along with biogs, pictures and contact details for working group members, so colleagues know the group and can make contact.

9. Create minutes and an action tracker for each meeting, to ensure sessions feed into actions, collated on the EDI action plan template.

10. Consider embedding the EDI action plan within their business plans for ACE.

HMS and some other partner hub lead services have done this.

Changing Tracks is a programme of peer support and learning for and with music services wanting to improve equality, diversity and inclusion. It is run by Hertfordshire Music Service and funded by Youth Music as part of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England. It was previously called MusicNet East. We help music services to be more inclusive by providing peer networks – one of which is facilitated by Music Mark  – training and consultancy, advice and resources.

Find out more about us, or check out the other resources and blogs on this site for more help for music services.

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