New Client; Attitude is Everything

We are delighted to be working with a new client, Attitude is Everything, evaluating Beyond the Music. Beyond the Music is an ambitious programme, funded by Reaching Communities from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to encourage more Deaf and disabled people to work in the music industry.

Here is an extract from the Attitude is Everything website. You can see the website directly by clicking here. 

“Attitude is Everything is pleased to announce Beyond the Music, a new three-year programme that aims to boost employment opportunities for Deaf and disabled people in the commercial music sector.

Findings from Arts Council England show just 4% of staff at National Portfolio Organisations, and just 1.8% of staff at music industry organisations, consider themselves to be disabled. This is a significant disparity from the UK’s general population, where 19% of working adults are considered disabled under the Equality Act.

Such a disconnect may be the result of barriers and discrimination, but our own research suggests that many Deaf and disabled people in the industry may also lack confidence to make their impairment known. Last year we revealed that that 70% of disabled musicians hid details of their impairment for fear of losing opportunities, and that two-thirds had compromised their health to perform in inaccessible conditions.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Beyond The Music will look to explore these issues and employment gaps, while taking a two-pronged approach to identify solutions: supporting Deaf and disabled people to gain the necessary skills, experience, support and contacts they require to work or volunteer in the music industry, while providing training, resources and guidance to help music businesses build a truly inclusive work environment.

The project launches with a new survey, open to any Deaf or disabled person who works or is aspiring to work in the industry. Their responses will play a key part in shaping the programme over the next three years.

Over that period, we are aiming to create:

  1. A Beyond The Music Network – a place for Deaf and disabled people working or seeking to work in the industry to meet, network, share ideas and find support around navigating the industry.
  2. Structured opportunities for Deaf and disabled people to develop their skills through training, mentoring, shadowing and skilled employment and volunteering opportunities.
  3. Accessible Creative Environments training – a new training course tailored to support companies within in the industry to create a truly inclusive workplace culture.
  4. An Accessible Employment and Volunteering Toolkit
  5. A Future Leaders programme – a year long skills development programme designed to help talented Deaf and disabled people develop the skills to lead the industry in the future.

Head of Volunteering and Skills Development for Attitude is Everything Paul Hawkins said

“This is a challenging time for everyone in the music business, especially within live events. The industry’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign has highlighted the gravity of the situation, but, as we plot a pathway back from coronavirus, Attitude is Everything believes it is crucial that Deaf and disabled people have full and equal access to any employment opportunities on offer.”

Beyond The Music will allow us to try and identify why Deaf and disabled workers are so underrepresented in the sector, and to take positive action to implement change. The first step towards that goal is the survey we are launching today. We are enormously grateful to the National Lottery for funding this project, and also for support we’ve received from venues and others in the business. More will be needed on the road ahead as we strive for equality and inclusivity.

A number of music industry organisations are already backing Beyond The Music, with The Barbican, the Brighton Centre, Manchester Arena, the SEC, the South Bank Centre and Norwich Arts Centre all offering expertise to a Venues Advisory Group that will help formulate a strategy around the survey findings. Further support has been confirmed by Sony Music and Youth Music.

Industry umbrella body UK Music have also invited Attitude is Everything to join their Diversity Taskforce to help ensure access for Deaf and disabled people is high on their agenda. UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said:

“For a number of years UK Music has been a proud supporter of Attitude is Everything’s great work to improve access to music and the music industry for Deaf and disabled people. Beyond The Music is an exciting new initiative that everyone must now get behind. We look forward to working with Attitude is Everything on this and welcoming them to the UK Music Diversity Taskforce.”

Alongside the initiative, we are pleased to announce a new role within the Attitude is Everything team. The Skills Development Manager will lead on our work with Deaf and disabled people aspiring to work in music by helping them to access training, advice and guidance and brokering placements with music industry partners.

To find out more about Beyond the Music and how you can support it, please contact Paul Hawkins via

The Evaluator is looking forward to helping this organisation to measure the impact of it’s work, on individuals and on the music industry too. As part of this project we are looking into concepts including ambition, what holds people back, and how industry can change attitudes over time.

Recommissioned for Positive Progressions

We announce new partnerships here, and share some evaluation examples, but we rarely share the details of the project we complete. It’s time to rectify this.

Positive Progressions is one of our earliest clients and we are still working together. Positive Progressions is run by Craven College, who are based in Yorkshire and is all about getting families who are far away from the labour market back into work. They are co-financed by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund and are a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project.

As their evaluation provider, in the beginning we worked with them to understand the work they were doing and what happened day to day in their project. We looked at the data they had to collect for funders, and spoke to the staff.  The project itself is a 1:1 keyworker support model, which is incredibly flexible. Because staff work so intensively with participants, they get to know them really well. We use that, and get the staff to carry out keyworker assessments.

Overall we have created measurement tools which capture changes in; wellbeing, confidence, resilience and ‘work-readiness’ over time. We chose this list, as these are the aims of the project. We regularly analyse all the data and present it to the wider team at partnership meetings. We can show the project is making an impact. We even can predict when people are nearing the end of their time in the project.

Our numerical information has uncovered unknown issues, for example, that people with disabilities are less likely to cross the final hurdle and get a job. This has helped the project team to focus their time and understanding on supporting disabled participants more.

We have provided bespoke quantitative measurement tools including ‘The Journey Back to Work Road Map’ and the ‘Rose Parker Resilience Scale’ which are very quick and easy for the team to implement and require no additional staff time.

Positive Progressions have consistently been identified as one of the leading examples of good practice in evaluation for all BBO projects across the North of England.

We presented the bespoke findings for this project at a high-profile seminar of good evaluation practice at Newcastle Football Club in May 2019. We were the only project selected to share evaluation good practice!

In September 2019 we were recommissioned to continue to provide their evaluation for the next two years. Working together again, we uncovered what they wanted out of a future evaluation. We decided to continue to use the existing methods and monitor the disability situation and to develop a new arm for evaluation to measure longer term impact. We are currently carrying out a ‘six months later’ impact analysis for this project and as part of that work we are starting to financially proxy the lifetime savings of the project in terms of a public purse.

“The Evaluator has been integral; supporting Craven College to really demonstrate  the impact of Positive Progressions to funders both current and future. From the outset they have developed and adapted methods of collecting data and evidencing impact throughout, this has ensured we can really showcase the success of the project but also to help us constantly improve our practice.” Pippa Syers, Community and Projects Manager.

Hopefully, that will have explained a bit more about what an evaluation partnership can look like. As a firm trying to transform evaluation; we are really trying to make sure it enhances our clients work, and helps them to make data-driven-decisions.