David Ross Education Trust

Our mission is to give every child attending one of our schools a world-class education.



An academy that embraces music is not just an academy with a good music department.

It is one where the underlying principles of high-quality music-making; of listening, adapting, exploring, persevering, problem-solving, thinking laterally and performing without fear, are seen in every student and every teacher.

The Trust aims to shape and improve its educational provision through developing the
quality and scope of music-making for thousands of young people across both our primary
and secondary sectors. This strategy is designed to enable Music to be an integral part of
the Trust’s vision to transform young people’s lives.

The key objectives are to:

  • Increase the number of students taking part in quality music-making across the
  • Encourage and deliver quality performing opportunities for all
  • Provide pathways for talented musicians to participate and excel in aspirational
  • Maximise value from key partner organisations and professional musicians to
    enhance the provision for students
  • Offer students a quality musical education equal to what is offered in the
    independent sector

Recent Highlights

  • Nevill Holt Opera delivered a write an aria workshops to over 300 students from nine secondary academies, and a further 400 students attended dress rehearsals of Rigoletto and The Elixir of Love.
  • 130 students from Barnes Wallis, Charles Read and Thomas Middlecott Academies took part in a three-month singing project with Opera North, culminating with a performance in Lincoln with the Chorus of Opera North.
  • Through The Voices Foundation, a singing curriculum for Early Years and Key Stage 1 was trialled in Northampton primary schools, and is now followed by 13 academies.
  • The King’s Men, from King's College, Cambridge, made their first visit to six primary academies in Northampton, and performed in concert with the Malcolm Arnold Academy Chapel Choir at St Matthew’s Church in the town.
  • The second DRET Choral Course took place in July 2016, and was attended by 75 students; Stephen Williams, Director of Music, and Catherine Griffiths, Head of Singing, were also adjudicators of the DRET Music Cup.
  • One of the Trust’s Chapel Choirs sang with the Gabrieli Consort in Ely Cathedral, as part of the Gabrieli Roar programme, leading to the inclusion of the DRET Youth Choir in Gabrieli Roar 2017.