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IELTS Reading passage –Barrington Music Service & Health and safety in small businesses
Barrington Music Service & Health and safety in small businesses
Barrington Music Service organises a wide range of music activities for children and young people resident in and around Barrington. It provides singing and specialist instrumental lessons in schools, and it owns a collection of instruments for use in schools, some of which are available for hire by the parents of children having lessons. The Service also arranges a number of music-related events, including festivals bringing together choirs and soloists from schools in both Barrington and other areas. The Music Service provides administrative and financial support for the Barrington Youth Orchestra, which takes part in workshops with professional artists and gives performances.
Barrington Music Service is seeking to recruit a Business and Development Manager to manage the administrative function and build on the success of the Service. We are looking for an individual with a passion for delivering the best possible music provision for the benefit of our children and young people.
As the Business and Development Manager, you will be responsible for managing the administrative and financial systems of the Music Service, ensuring it does not exceed its budget, which is currently around £1m a year. You will take the lead on marketing the Service and ensuring the generation of new income. The Music Service is involved in several partnerships with schools and with music and community organisations in the district, and you will be expected to increase the number and scope of these, as well as take the lead in fundraising. The Service recently embarked on a programme to broaden what is taught in school music lessons, to include instruments and musical styles from around the world, and you will be required to further develop this emphasis on diversity.
You will need to improve systems for ensuring that the records of the Service’s activities are accurate and maintain a database of all music teachers, students, and instruments belonging to the Service.
The person appointed will have experience of a supervisory role and the skills to motivate members of a team. You will have an understanding of accounting, at a non-specialist level, and of standard financial procedures. High-level IT skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. Although experience in music education is not crucial, good knowledge of the field, or of other areas of arts management, would be an advantage.
Complete the notes below.Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 15-20 on your answer sheet.
Barrington Music Service
● organises music lessons
● enables the hire of instruments
● Events such as 15 ………………. for local and visiting schools
● supports Barrington Youth Orchestra
Post of Business and Development Manager
Person appointed will
● manage the administration of the Service
● be responsible for keeping to the 16 ……………….
● build 17 ………………. with other organisations
● be proactive in fundraising
● increase the focus on 18 ………………. in school music lessons (e.g., international styles)
● make sure records and a 19 ………………. is kept up-to-date
Person appointed must have
● ability to supervise and motivate others
● basic knowledge of 20 ……………….
● other relevant skills
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Health and safety in small businesses
The rate of accidents at work is almost 75% higher in small businesses than in larger companies. One possible reason is chat many managers of small businesses have an inadequate knowledge of health and safety issues.
Many managers of small businesses claim their situation is made worse by bureaucracy, arguing that the huge number of regulations – not just on health and safety but also on tax, the minimum wage, and much, much more – makes their work difficult. Many managers are simply not aware of their responsibilities. They are too busy running their companies to read manuals, employ consultants or go to seminars. Moreover, the average business person doesn’t know where and how to get information.
The Federation of Small Businesses argues that the special nature of small businesses should be recognised by health and safety inspectors, with an emphasis on education and how to comply with the law, rather than simply on enforcement. For instance, inspectors could make employers aware of what they really need to know, rather than swamping them with mountains of leaflets which may not be relevant.
Improvements are being made, however. The Health and Safety Executive has issued a free guide to the most important health and safety laws for employers. All employers must have their own health and safety policy statement and, for businesses with more than five employees, this must be in writing. It should be specific to the business and clear about the arrangements for and organisation of health and safety at work.
We should state a strategy, detail how it will be implemented and by whom, and say when it will be reviewed and updated. It is advisable to involve employees in this process, as they have direct experience.
Assessing and identifying risks is the starting point. But to comply with the law, businesses must train their employees about health and safety, and provide information to others who need to know, such as the contractors working for them. These are often smaller companies that carry out most of the dangerous work. Helping them to get into good safety habits makes it easier for them to tender for work from big companies.
Other advice from the Health and Safety Executive for small businesses tackles specific issues, such as helping small companies to deal with work-related stress.
Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 21-27 on your reading answer sheet.
21. One cause of health and safety problems in small businesses is that managers do not have enough relevant ………………… .
22. Managers complain they have too many ………………… to deal with.
23. Managers may not fully understand their ………………… .
24. Businesses sometimes feel that inspectors give them far too many ………………… .
25. Businesses above a certain size must produce a written ………………… of their health and safety policy.
26. A company’s health and safety policy is relevant to both its employees and its ………………… .
27. The Health and Safety Executive can advise small businesses on problems of ………………… among their employees.
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