ED&I Bootcamps – what happened next? Merton Music Foundation

For Merton Music Foundation, attending an ED&I bootcamp has led to the service running a trauma-informed music nurture group, creating its first ED&I action plan (now published on its website), and was the starting point for an inclusion resource for its tutors.

Hailey Willington, Youth Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion Leader and Subject Leader for Strings, attended our third ED&I bootcamp series in June 2021. She attended the Inclusion Project Managers Peer Learning Group in the same month, and had also joined our Inclusive Job Description Task & Finish Group the previous month. CEO Elizabeth Wigley then attended the National Music Services Working Group on Inclusion in September 2021.

How did this help you to take your next steps towards inclusion?

The EDI Bootcamp was a fantastic opportunity to focus on the subject and consider my organisation’s meaningful next steps. It was a supportive space and incredibly useful to hear from facilitators and fellow participants about where they are on their EDI journey.  

What areas of your ED&I action plan did you move forward with next? *

Hailey followed up the bootcamp by working on staff training for inclusion, and finalising policies to make them more inclusive. MMF has since signed the Black Lives in Music Charter (BLIM) and is working with BLIM on redesigning inclusive recruitment practices for both staff and trustees.

In September 2021, she successfully applied for funding from Changing Tracks as part of our Nurture Groups action research programme.  Hailey says: “Supported by trauma training, and critical reflection groups from Changing Tracks, the nurture group programme has been a successful pilot that has brought actionable inclusive practice and reflection into many areas of our teaching practice. We’ll be continuing this project in September 2022 and are proud to have added musical nurture groups to our 2022-2023 offer to schools for the first time.”

The bootcamp also provided a foundation for a resource, published on their website in early 2022 and promoted nationally by Music Mark and Changing Tracks. Hailey says: “Our The Inclusive Music Lesson: a pocket guide’ resource was born out of our 2021 Tutor Conference which I ran, focusing on inclusion and funded by Youth Music. Attending Changing Tracks ED&I Boot Camp, when I was new to formally being in an EDI role, was key in building confidence and giving focus to this work.”   

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