Professor Susan Hallam, Dean of the Faculty of Policy and Society, Institute of Education, University of London
The Importance of Music is truly inspirational in its vision for music education in England. Michael Gove, Ed Vaizey and Darren Henley, are to be congratulated on their insight in recognising the importance of music education and setting out a long-term plan for its delivery.
What is surprising is that those who have made England a world leader in music education (as is acknowledged in the foreword) are not those to be charged with its oversight. The implementation of the plan is to be managed by Arts Council England (ACE), although they have a clear conflict of interests here as ACE-funded National Portfolio Organisations are eligible to apply.
Formal accountability for the funding will be via ACE with a National Plan monitoring board set up. This will include a small number of impartial experts and will be chaired by and answerable to Ministers. Will this include music educators? Responsibility for music education, one of the greatest success stories in English education, is apparently passing from the DfE to ACE. Let’s hope that they can deliver!