Introduction from the Department for Education
The first ever National Plan for Music Education, The Importance of Music, was published on 25 November 2011. It sets out the Government’s vision for music education - to enable children from all backgrounds and every part of England to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence.
This is part of the Government’s aim to ensure that all pupils have rich cultural opportunities alongside their academic and vocational studies.
From 2012, music education will be provided by new ‘hubs’ which will deliver music education in partnership, building on the work of existing local authority music services.
The main elements of the National Plan for Music Education are:
- A new national funding formula to make sure all parts of the country get fair funding for music on a per pupil basis, with a weighting for deprivation. There will be protection for areas that would otherwise have seen reductions of more than 10 per cent funding in 2012-13 and more than 20 per cent in 2013-14.
- Funding of £77 million, £65 million and £60 million confirmed for the next three years. Most of this will go to the music education hubs.
- A new music teaching module will be developed for trainee primary teachers, to give them extra skills to teach music.
- Continued funding of £500,000 per year to the National Youth Music Organisations fund, matched by the Arts Council England currently via Youth Music.
- Continued support for the internationally recognised Music and Dance Scheme – which provides money for exceptionally gifted young people to attend the highly specialist music and dance schools.
- Continued funding for In Harmony: Sistema England, augmented by matched funding from Arts Council England so that the programme can expand.
From August 2012, music education hubs will be funded to bring together Local Authorities and local music organisations like orchestras, choirs and other music groups. They will work in partnership to make sure every child has a high-quality music education including the opportunity to learn to sing, to play an instrument and to make music with others. The hubs will be fully operational from September 2012.
The hubs, which will be held accountable for their effectiveness, will also help improve the consistency around the country and make sure all pupils receive a high quality music education.
Local Authorities will receive funding, via the Federation of Music Services (FMS), to continue providing music education services until August 2012. Allocations will be made on a per pupil basis with a weighting for pupils eligible for free school meals. There will be protection so that, in 2012-13, no area loses more than 10 per cent compared to its 2011-12 funding. In 2013-14, no area will lose more than 20 per cent compared to its 2012-13 funding.
The Department has asked the Arts Council for England to run the application and approval process for the new music education hubs. Applications will need to demonstrate how they will deliver at least the core roles which are to:
- ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole-class ensemble teaching programmes for ideally a year (but for a minimum of a term) of weekly tuition on the same instrument
- provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage
- ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people
- develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area.
The National Plan for Music Education can be viewed here.
Funding allocations are set out in a spreadsheet which can be downloaded from this page.