Government announces £85m funding for music in schools, hopes children leave “able to read and write music”
3 January 2020, 11:44 | Updated: 3 January 2020, 12:16
State school Music Education Hubs will be supported throughout 2020/21 so children have the “opportunity to learn an instrument or perform in a choir or a band”.
The Government has announced new funding for music lessons in schools.
£85 million has been pledged to fund school Music Education Hubs, which will provide opportunities for pupils to learn an instrument, perform in a choir or form a band.
The government-funded hubs will receive a total of £80 million through 2020-21, with a further £4 million announced for cultural education programmes – focused on dance, theatre, design and film – and £1 million pledged for charities dedicated to music education.
School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, says:
“We want all children to be leaving school able to read and write music, and to have been introduced to a wide range of musical traditions.
“Today’s funding announcement is designed to help our schools deliver that ambition.”
“Music, arts and culture play an essential role in enriching pupils’ education, and we want to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to learn an instrument or perform in a choir or a band.
“Our continued investment will play an important role in helping young people widen their horizons and access all the opportunities that learning a musical instrument can provide - whether that be playing for pleasure or performing.”
The Music Education Hubs, which were founded in 2012 to bring together local authorities, arts organisations and volunteer programmes to create joined-up music education provision, were funded by £300 million from the government between 2016 to 2020.
Director of Music Education at Arts Council England, Hannah Fouracre, says:
“We’re delighted that this funding from the Department for Education has been confirmed.
“These programmes support a creative, diverse and inclusive music education for children and young people across England.”
Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Angela Rayner, has acknowledged that additional funding for music education in schools is “welcome” but fears it is “not sufficient to address the impact of a decade of austerity.”
“Under the Tories the curriculum has narrowed, teaching of arts subjects has plummeted, and the additional funding being promised for schools will not even reverse the government’s own cuts,” she says.
2018 saw a “funding crisis” pose a serious threat to A-level music education.
Let’s hope this is a step in the right direction.