This is an article asking for your help, we’d like you to sign a petition to help save a local music college.
I was shocked to learn this week that a local music college, Access To Music in Brighton, is closing down. Apparently it’s being knocked down to build flats. This in itself is bad news, the college is a creative hub for local musicians providing them with a platform to learn skills relevant to the music industry and practically apply them.
Even more shocking perhaps was the news that students who are part way through their courses do not currently have any way to complete them. Although I’ve been told there has been some talk about a relocation behind the scenes the students and teachers have been told to expect the worst. One person I spoke to had successfully applied to the college and was due to start in September. He has since been told that his place no longer exists, presumably because there’s no-where for him to study. This doesn’t really give lot of confidence in the idea that Access To Music will in fact continue to exist later this year.
Ultimately this means that some students will come away with half a BTEC and have to start again – an appalling way to treat young people in education, and something that has a direct negative impact on the rest of their lives.
I’ve heard from existing students, parents and teachers who are shocked by the news and would appreciate any support available. Quite simply it’s bad enough that the college is closing, and worse that no back up plan (government lead or otherwise) is in place for those who are part way through their study.
When I found out about the situation I signed this petition and shared it, along with my personal concerns across social media sites, local music groups etc. At the time of sharing it had around 240 signatures, at the time of writing there are now 841 – an overwhelming response.
As a musician, songwriter, and general supporter of the local music scene I strongly believe we need to stand together and raise awareness of this and push for a solution to be found. This is about awareness, and putting pressure on the people that have the power to make this right. So I ask and encourage you to please to sign the petition and share it far and wide.
Words by Mike Roche