Music education for children in England is to receive an £18m boost in funding, the Department for Education says. This is from the BBC…
The extra money will be allocated to music education, including to the national network of 123 music education hubs established in 2012.
The news follows a report by Ofsted inspectors last November that criticised a lack of depth and rigour in school music in England.
The funding boost was welcomed by music and arts campaign groups.
Music education hubs were set up in 2012 as part of a national plan for music education.
They are made up of music trust staff, voluntary groups and private firms working in a local area, to create joined up music education provision for children and young people, both in and out of school.
The aim is that every child in England has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, and to perform as part of an ensemble or choir.
In the first year, the Department for Education (DfE) says, the hubs gave nearly half a million children the opportunity to learn an instrument for the first time and worked with almost 15,000 school choirs, orchestras and bands.
The department said data published by Arts Council England showed that in 2012-13 (the first year of music hubs), nearly 80,000 disadvantaged pupils and more than 30,000 pupils with special educational needs took part in instrumental ensembles and choirs.
The DfE says the extra funding will mean thousands more disadvantaged pupils will have access to music lessons and enable hubs to purchase tens of thousands more instruments.
Education Minister Nick Gibb said: “No education can be complete without the arts and music playing a central role. That is why we established music hubs to replace a patchy service and ensure every child is given the opportunity to learn an instrument.
“Music hubs have made a very encouraging start – and now we want to build on that. That is why we are increasing funding by £18m. No children should miss out on the inspiration and excitement that music can bring to their lives…’
Alan Davey, chief executive of the Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted at the increased opportunity it will bring to support all young people to enjoy music and develop their talents through a connected music education landscape…’
Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and coordinator of the Protect Music Education campaign, said she was “absolutely delighted” that the government had listened to her group’s campaign to for better music funding…
Ok, so we all know there’s an election coming, but is this significant good news for music education, especially giving opportunities to disadvantaged pupils? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
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