26 November 2010

New Faces - William Parslow

William Parslow, Customer Relations Consultant. Will joined us over the summer and has been working towards improving customer relations.

He has been involved in projects such as re-writing the user and reference guidance, restricting the online help facilities and developing online help videos and other materials.

Will has spent the majority of his life immersed in the performing arts scene and planned a career as a drama teacher before coming to Paritor where he has brought his passion for performing arts and ability to solve the related problems. This mind set means he can view the software from a performing arts teacher’s perspective and thus understand and help solve any issues that may arise.

Paritor recieve Microsoft recognition

This year not only are we in the process of being registered as a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner but we have also been invited to become a member of the Microsoft Partner Research Panel.

The Microsoft Silver Certified Partnership will also mean that our software will also have been accredited by Microsoft and its rigorous testing process.

Being a member of the panel, will mean that we will only be one of a limited number of Microsoft partners who are invited to join, we will be gaining insights and able to make a really contribution to the future of the company and the software that they develop. Our team will be at the cutting edge of any new developments, as well as having an influential voice in the future innovation.

It will be a powerful way of being able to present our thoughts and opinions, and keeping up to date with any changes and innovations will mean that you will continue to have the most influential and best software that is available.

The National Music Council’s Local Authority Music Education Awards 2010

The National Music Council’s Local Authority Music Education Awards 2010 took place on Tuesday 23rd November, and a fantastic night was had by all. Councillors, teachers and Heads of Service all gathered to receive their awards and celebrate their fantastic achievements.

The star-studded event brought together some amazing teachers and heads of services from the world of Local Authority Music Services and proved a great success. The awards were took place at the British Phonographic Industry offices in London and were presented by Robin Osterley, Chair of the Awards Panel.

The Major Trophy was jointly awarded to Devon and East Ayrshire Local Authorities, and their starlets were invited to come along and play for guests.

Recognition was also given to the fantastic work done by Barking and Dagenham, Blackpool, East Lothian, Enfield, and Hampshire, who all received Diplomas of Merit. The PRS Foundation awarded a Diploma of Special Merit to Glasgow for their commitment to creative music making.

On the Jazz side, Jazz Services also recognised a commitment to jazz education through their Will Michael Awards. A Diploma of Special Merit went to Devon and Diplomas of Merit also went to Aberdeenshire, East Renfrewshire and Lincolnshire.

Sarah Faulder, Chairman, NMC, said The NMC Awards scheme is the most prestigious awards that Local Authorities can obtain for their music education provision. The high quality and standards of the submissions have been maintained in 2010 and the winners are to be congratulated on their achievements.”

Future developments will mean that the awards event will be even more high profile and especially with the potentially looming funding cuts, this a real chance for local authority’s to shine and show evidence that their commitment to music really is worthwhile.

22 November 2010

The tick list approach to teaching say the Oates Report

The national curriculum is overloaded and is dire need a major reform to get rid of its bureaucratic processes say the report lead by Tim Oates.

The paper which was realised on Thursday, “Could do better: using international comparisons to refine the National Curriculum in England”, has warned that "overbearing assessment" has led to "narrow drilling for tests".

Oates warns that change can not only be implemented by changing what is taught in school but this should also include teaching quality, teacher expertise, learning materials and inspection.

Education secretary Michael Gove is keen to take on board some of the ideas put forward by Mr Oates in the report.

"This fascinating and insightful paper offers a concise analysis of some of the problems with our current national curriculum and helps explain why so many other nations are outpacing us in educational performance," he said.

17 November 2010

National Music Council Awards announced and ceremony details

The National Music Council’s (NMC) Local Authority Music Education Awards 2010 Major Trophy has been awarded jointly to Devon and East Ayrshire Local Authorities. Diplomas of Merit go to Barking and Dagenham, Blackpool, East Lothian, Enfield, and Hampshire. The PRS Foundation will be awarding a Diploma of Special Merit to Glasgow for their commitment to creative music making.

Jazz Services will be recognising a commitment to jazz education through their Will Michael Awards. Thus a Diploma of Special Merit goes to Devon and Diplomas of Merit to Aberdeenshire, East Renfrewshire and Lincolnshire.

Please RSVP to Peter Filleul, info@nationalmusiccouncil if you would like to attend the presentation ceremony on Tuesday 23rd November.

All these Awards will be presented on Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at the British Phonographic Industry offices in London.

Robin Osterley, Chair of the Awards Panel, said: “As a panel we were once again faced with a very difficult choice, and are grateful to all those Local Authorities who took the trouble to apply in the midst of a very busy schedule. At a time when music education is undergoing a comprehensive review, and when financial pressures are so great, we would do well to remember that there are so many Authorities out there doing their level best, sometimes with limited resources, to provide outstanding opportunities for young people to learn music, and most importantly, make music”

Sarah Faulder, Chairman, NMC, said “The NMC Awards scheme is the most prestigious awards that Local Authorities can obtain for their music education provision. The high quality and standards of the submissions have been maintained in 2010 and the winners are to be congratulated on their achievements.”

15 November 2010

Russell praises efforts of teachers

As the Scottish Parliament prepare to debate the Curriculum for Excellence, Scottish education secretary Michael Russell has praised the efforts of schools and teachers who have risen to the challenge of implementation. Mr Russell said:

"I have called this debate to give the Scottish Parliament the chance to thank all of our teachers and school staff for their hard work implementing Curriculum for Excellence.

‘I know from visits to schools across Scotland that teachers are embracing the opportunities offered by the new curriculum to enthuse pupils and improve learning and teaching,"

he went on to say: "Many voices from educational experts at home and abroad to business organisations agree that Curriculum for Excellence is the big prize for our education system."

"I hope the voice of the Scottish Parliament will join with that chorus today and send a clear message of support for our teachers and signify our ongoing commitment to driving forward Curriculum for Excellence and improving Scottish education."

However the survey conducted by Educational Institute of Scotland has found that 51 per cent of teachers “do not feel confident in their own personal state of readiness” for the Curriculum for Excellence.

10 November 2010

3 weeks left to vote for our first ever Charity of the Year

Voting for our first Charity of the Year will end on the 30th November and we are asking you to make a difference by casting your vote for who you want to be Paritor?s Charity of the Year 2011.

2011 will mark an innovative year for Paritor, as it will be our first in partnership with a Charity of the Year. 9 nominees have been carefully selected and each one is asking for your vote and support. Here is a list of the nominees:

The Amber Trust
  • 'Music is not just a pastime for AMBER's children, it' a LIFELINE'

Cornwall Hospice Care

  • 'Caring for our community'

Guide Dogs for the Blind

  • 'We want a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else'

Heart Research UK

  • 'Pioneers in the fight against heart disease'


  • 'Working with disabled children, young people and their families'

London Ballet Circle

  • 'To promote interest in dance and kindred arts'

Music as Therapy International

  • 'Making the benefits of music therapy available to children and adults around the world'

Music in Hospitals

  • 'Creating joy through live music'

Willow Foundation

  • 'Special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds'

Vote now or if you still can't decide you can read more about each of the charities and why they think they should be Paritor's Charity of the Year at www.paritor.com/charity. Your vote really will make a difference!

Thanks, The Paritor Team

9 November 2010

Top 10 Reasons for Using Online Server Backup and Recovery

Iron Mountain Digital have released the top 10 reasons that for business to use online server backups and recovery.

1. Comprehensive and reliable data protection assures up-to-date recovery of all critical business data, including the backup of data in open files

2. Automatic and secure off-site electronic vaulting guarantees successful disaster recovery

3. Better control over restoring data gives businesses access to data when and where it’s needed — for any reason

4. Improved security for all sensitive data ensures protection during backup, transmission and storage

5. A complete data protection solution addresses the entire data protection workflow and provides a higher level of reliability, productivity and cost containment

6. Immediate data restoration either over the Internet or from on-site rapid recovery appliances reduces downtime costs

7. Enhanced ability to demonstrate compliance with regulations around information protection is enhanced through consistent, repeatable processes and controls

8. Freedom from routine backup and restore tasks allows redirection of staff time to value-driven projects with greater impact on productivity and profitability

9. Increased competitive advantage is promoted through improved access to data, more predictable cost control and flexible solutions that change with the business

10. Greater reliability in recovering all data where and when needed is ensured, with successful data recovery guaranteed in writing

In a most recent study 93% of businesses that lose data due to a disaster go out of business within two years, showing how the vital it is to have back up of company information. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of cloud based servers to hold their data and therefore recover solutions, generally proving to be more cost effective as well.

Here at Paritor we offer the option of holding our customers data in a cloud based server, ensuring that they can have peace of mind as well as the flexibility to access it wherever they are. For more information please visit www.paritor.com.

KS2 review is welcomed by teachers

The coalition government has determined that there will be a review into the tests for primary children at key stage 2, a decision that has been welcomed by all teachers and unions.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has appointed, Lord Bew, to chair the external review into Key Stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability.

The National Union of Teacher’s General Sectertary, Christine Blower stated the following:

"For too long children's education has been blighted by an assessment regime which limits the curriculum and encourages teaching to the test,"

She went on to say "We need assessment that is meaningful, more accurate and focuses on what children can do and arises from teaching activity making it manageable in terms of teacher workload."

Last academic year a quarter of schools boycotted the KS2 tests. The review lead by Lord Bew will consist of a small review panel made up of two education experts, a number of primary headteachers and one secondary school head.

The department for education has announced that it will be looking at the following issues.

  • how best to ensure schools are properly accountable to pupils, parents and the taxpayer for the achievement and progress of every child, on the basis of objective and accurate assessments how to ensure parents have good-quality information on the progress of their children and the success of schools

  • how to avoid, as far as possible, the risk of perverse incentives, over-rehearsal and reduced focus on productive learning

  • how to ensure performance information is used and interpreted appropriately within the accountability system by other agencies, increasing transparency and preserving accountability to parents, pupils and the taxpayer while avoiding the risk of crude and narrow judgements being made.

The final report will be published by June 2011.

8 November 2010

Richard Hallam's newly Published Report on Draft LAMPs for 2010

Richard Hallam’s report follows that all LA should submit their LAMP to the National Music Participation Director each December, something which is recommended by the Standard Fund Music Grant.

To access the NMPD Report on LAMPS 2010 please visit www.paritor.com/home_press

1 November 2010

Call for music and performing arts teachers to interview

They might be largely forgotten by governments, media commentators and the like, but performing arts education teachers play a significant role in the UK’s general education. In the aftermath of the Coalition government’s spending review, their jobs seem even less stable. This month at Paritor, to celebrate the launch of Ensemble Schedule we are honouring teachers and the amazing work that they do. We are looking for teachers in the performing arts sector to give us their opinions on the future and their worries and concerns.
If you would like to tell us your views please email jodie@paritor.co.uk