[VIDEO] NMPAT’s experience of using the Youth Music EDI tools

An excerpt from a meeting of the National Music Services Working Group on Inclusion, Sept 2020, featuring Peter Smalley, CEO of Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT). The transcript is below.

We have used the EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) toolkit most recently to open up discussion amongst our management team about what EDI means to us. 

As an organisation I think we’ve got some fabulous work going on but there’s a great danger that it’s all happening in pockets. And the bit that’s wrong for us is that  inclusion, diversity, equality is not embedded in the organisation.

I think it is, I think it’s part of our DNA but we don’t know how to articulate that.

So I used the lockdown period to send the EDI toolkit to all of our management team, everyone that has leadership responsibility, and the people that were lead practitioners in any area of inclusion.

And the results coming back were staggering in their diversity. Although there was a general agreement about the areas in which we were strong and weak the range of scores that came off the EDI ranged from 1% to 90% in most areas. 

What was really interesting is the management team the people who possibly should know more about what’s going on but have got other areas of responsibility and don’t bother themselves with those sorts of things, were sort of in the middle and fairly uniform.

There were two outlying responses that were much lower than everybody else and one which was much higher. And those are the three people that I would describe as being our lead practitioners in the area of inclusion.

So what does that tell me? Well it tells us that we’ve got a lot of discussion to do. We had a fabulous senior management team meeting on Monday when I invited everyone to talk about what EDI means to them before I presented the results. And the first thing was that the responses were so utterly different as you would expect. And then looking at the responses of the on the tool kit it led to a corporate decision that we actually need to talk about this and we need to move this forwards. 

So I share that story with you and not out of any great pleasure that that’s where we are in on this journey cos we’re a long way behind long way to go but out of how the easy I took it as unlocked that conversation and people’s frustration at not being able to answer it has led to them wanting to be more involved and wanting to know more so for me it’s been brilliant and it’s the beginning of a journey that started a long time ago but we’re now on it.

Changing Tracks is a programme of 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. Find out more about us.

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