SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Mr Patrick Allen

BA (Leeds), PGCE MA(Sussex)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Patrick Allen
Mr Patrick Allen
Email address:
Thesis title:
Excellence and Inclusion in Music Education: Working with Chagossian Teenagers in an English Comprehensive School
Internal Supervisors


I am a secondary school music teacher and author, with nearly 30 years of teaching experience. My most recent post as Head Music and Head of Arts in a Crawley school brought me into contact with the twice exiled Chagossian community, 3000 of whom live in Crawley. My PhD recounts and analyses the remarkable levels of musicianship in this disadvantaged and marginalised community, and the effect this had on the young people, the school, the community and me. I am the winner of the TES Schoolbook Award, a Guardian Teaching Award and of the National Union of Teachers/Music for Youth Teacher Award, presented at the 2015 National Festival of Music for Youth.

PhD Research

My research covers 8 years working with teenagers from the exiled and disadvantaged Chagossian community in a Crawley comprehensive school. This wide-ranging study offers both a narrative account of the exceptional outcomes of the young people, but also at the systems and structures of education in England which worked both for and against them. This long-term study raises important questions in the fields of: arts education in schools, cultural bias in examinations and curricula, music education, inclusion and racism.


  • Working with Chagossian Teenagers in Crawley, England in Constructing Critical Consciousness ed. Lea. Peter Lang (New York) 2014
  • What I Have Learned from the Chagossians in Sec Ed Magazine
  • Europe: World of Music ISBN 978-0431117768 Heinemann Library 2008 (Chicago)
  • Composing Matters Teacher Resource Pack ISBN 978-0435811815 Heinemann 2002 (Oxford)
  • Composing Matters CD/CD-ROM ISBN 978-0435811808 Heinemann 2002 (Oxford)
  • Composing Matters Pupil Book ISBN 978-0435811822 Heinemann 2002 (Oxford)
  • Developing Singing Matters ISBN 978-0435810184 Heinemann 1999 (Oxford)
  • Singing Matters ISBN 978-0435810153 Heinemann 1997 (Oxford)


  • ICTM Music and Social Inclusion Conference (SOAS) 2017 ""Excellence and Inclusion in Music Education: Case studies from an English comprehensive school""
  • ICTM World Conference (Limerick) 2017 ""The Powerful Living Legacy of the Chagos Islanders""
  • BFE Student Conference (Canterbury) 2017 ""Exploitation""
  • ISME World Conference (Glasgow) 2016 ""Inclusion and Excellence in Music Education""
  • BFE National Conference (Chatham) 2016 ""Working with Chagossian Teenagers in a Crawley school""
  • Multiculturalism and Music in Britain: Ethnography, Empiricism and Everyday Lives (Kings College, London) 2012 ""Working with Chagossian Teenagers in a Crawley school"""


  • ICTM
  • ISME
  • BFE


As well as being a school teacher, Leading Practitioner and Advanced Skills Teacher for many years I also run workshops and masterclasses, teach part time at the University of Mauritius and support students from the University of Wisconsin Stout.


  • Music Education
  • Inclusion
  • Singing in Schools