Amrit Virdi

Editorial Graduate @ Music Teacher Magazine and Children & Young People Now

Gold Standard Level 5 NCTJ-Accredited Journalist

Bylines @ CLASH, OK!, DIY, Women's Health, London Runway, LeftLion etc

Podcast Producer @ CYP Now and Former Formula One Podcast Host

Readipop: the charity bringing participant-led music into schools

MT's Amrit Virdi reports on Readipop, the independent charity engaging students with music in the Thames Valley.

To most observers, music is an underfunded subject, often resulting in students missing out on experimentation to broaden their interests. Readipop, established in 1998, offers young people – from primary age up to university – in the Reading and Thames Valley area the chance to engage interactively with music.

Youth clubs, community bands, festivals, a record label and outreach are

Award launched for young brass players from low-income backgrounds

The award created by Future talent and teamArchie provides financial support and tailored mentorship to brass players aged 16─18 from low-income backgrounds.

Future Talent and teamArchie are offering two annual awards of £2,000 to cover music-related expenses, alongside a tailored development programme.

Applications for the two inaugural awards, for players aged 16─18, are open until 17 April. Successful applicants will participate in workshops, masterclasses and performance/recording opportun

Mermaids’ chief Lauren Stoner on the future of the charity and LGBTQ+ inclusivity

LGBTQ+ charity Mermaids is moving forward after an "unprecedentedly difficult time", its new chief executive Lauren Stoner tells CYP Now.

Mermaids has been supporting LGBTQ+ young people since 1995, and most recently found itself in the centre of controversy after the Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into the organisation. The charity also hit headlines after it appealed a decision by the Charity Commission to register LGB Alliance (LGBA) as a charity.

Mermaids is looking to mov

Bristol’s ‘Together for Music’ inclusive youth festival announced

Forming part of the nationwide Music For Youth Festival 2024, the new event, on 18 March at Beacon Hall, aims to promote groups of all abilities within the deaf, neurodivergent and disabled communities.

Bristol Beacon is hosting 'Together For Music' in collaboration with Music for Youth and Trinity College London (TCL), with support from TCL's Award and Certificates in Musical Development (ACMD) and in association with the Sounds of Intent programme.

The festival has a focus on empowering thos

The Round-Up (16/02/24)

The big news this week was that the red team (Taylor’s Version) won the big American football match, just as all those pesky conspiracy theories predicted. Thank goodness that’s over. Now, on with the music, which there’s quite a lot of this week.

Also new this week…

Sierra Ferrell – I Could Drive You Crazy

Sierra Ferrell provides a third taste of forthcoming album, Trail of Flowers, with the playful ‘I Could Drive You Crazy’. The verses are self-deprecating laments of the narrator’s inabilit

Solar Eyes thrive on their unique debut

Birmingham-based band Solar Eyes delve successfully into the world of experimental indie on their debut, self-titled album, which cohesively brings together the highlights of their releases since 2022.

Whether it’s Tame Impala’s synth and production or Arctic Monkeys’ 2000s rock which you prefer, you can find a mix of both on Solar Eyes. Grappling with an overarching theme of identity and confusion, the duo (Glenn Smyth and Sebastian Maynard Francis) make an emphatic statement on the record.


Warwickshire councillors removed from children's committee over SEND comments

Three councillors have been removed from Warwickshire County Council’s children and young people’s panel after they were heavily criticised for making “disgusting” comments about children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) during a public meeting.

The council has confirmed to CYP Now that three councillors will be removed from the children and young people overview and scrutiny committee following the remarks they made at the end of January.

“Whilst a formal investigation i

Council launches consultation over school for children with autism

Newcastle City Council has taken steps to increase its provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with plans to establish a new school for children with autism.

The proposed school will be built in Allendale Road in the east of the city and will be able to support 192 children aged between four and 16 years old with a range of abilities and differences associated with autism.

The first step in the process to secure approval is a five-week public consultation

Met Police failing child exploitation victims, report finds

There is an “insufficient focus on child exploitation at a senior level” of the Metropolitan Police, making its response to the sexual exploitation of children “not effective”, according to a report.

An inspection of the London policy force, led by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), examined 244 investigations into child exploitation and rated more than half of them as “inadequate”.

Just 43 were deemed to be “good”, according to the report, which

The Round-Up (09/02/24)

Hey, folks. We’re back. Did ya miss us? We’ve spent a few months regrouping. Polishing off our lassos, if you will. And we’re looking forward to a good year. So far, February’s been oddly special as far as music goes… surely you’ve heard about THIS, right? Let’s keep that momentum going with some yee-haw worthy songs, newly released and highlighted in Rodeo fashion, below.

Also new this week…

Mason Ramsey – Here All Day

Do you remember the yodelling kid from Walmart? Well, he’s still releasin

Ofsted criticises council over ‘inadequate experiences and progress of care leavers’

Peterborough's children’s services have been rated “inadequate” by Ofsted, partly due to its lack of support for care leavers and a “lack of sufficient leadership focus”.

The inspectorate handed the local authority an “inadequate” rating in its report after a visit in November last year due to a “deterioration in the quality of practice, and in the experience and progress of children and young people", particularly those in care.

The “quality of support, advice, and guidance for care leavers,

Ofsted to assess how children with SEND are prepared for adulthood

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission are set to carry out a series of in depth reviews to address concerns families have about how young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are being prepared for adulthood.

The guidance for the series of thematic visits, which will be carried out between spring and summer 2024, has been published.

The visits will consider all phases of a child with SEND’s transition to adulthood, beginning with the early years and looking at areas i

Resources for professionals to promote LGBT+ inclusivity

As part of LGBT History Month, CYP Now looks at some of the resources available to support professionals in embedding inclusivity into their practice.

Pop’n’Olly provides LGBT+ educational resources for primary-aged children and their parents, carers and teachers. Providing a series of original videos and books, it aims to ensure that teachers are equipped to deliver LGBT+ education.

Its most recent resource, LGBT+ Education in Primary School: Discussions with Parents is designed to help prima
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