Lloyd Webber brothers: School music is a perfect lesson for ministers

Andrew Lloyd Webber believes an Islington school is the perfect example of why the arts should be included in the English Baccalaureate.The composer praised Highbury Grove’s innovative music programme, which gives every child the chance to learn an instrument for at least the first three years of secondary school. This is from the Evening Standard…

Lord Lloyd-Webber attended a recital at the school yesterday, with his brother and celebrated cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, and said that he was impressed by the talent on show.

“This is a school that has turned itself around through music,” he said. “It is becoming very clear that what the Government does not understand is that every penny that you put into music education or education in the arts across the board comes back into the country 10 times over.”

Lord Lloyd-Webber has outlined in the House of Lords his objections to the Government’s plans for the English Baccalaureate Certificate, which will replace GCSEs in English, maths and sciences in 2017, with the changes later extended to history, geography and languages.

“I understand they’re trying to get the core level of education up. But it is completely and utterly daft not to have the arts included and I don’t think they really thought it through. Frankly I think that they’re in a corner,” he said.

Highbury Grove has received donations from the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust for the past six years. Until recently the donors preferred to remain anonymous, but went public when they decided the programme should be taken to other schools. Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “It is terribly important that what the Government understands is that they should be putting money to things like this.”

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