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Music Education

Volume 536: debated on Friday 25 November 2011

“The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education” has been developed jointly by the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport following a review of music education in England by Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM, published on 7 February 2011. The Departments intend to publish the plan today.

The plan sets out a 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 play music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence.

Key announcements are for:

Department for Education funding, to 31 March 2015, available for music education on an area-by-area basis.

Funds distributed to music education hubs following an open application process, conducted by Arts Council England operating as a fund holder.

A new Initial Teacher Training add-on module to boost new teachers’ skills and confidence in teaching music.

Development of a music educator qualification ensuring the wider music work force is better skilled, more professional and recognised for their role in and out of school.

Continued Department for Education funding, matched by Arts Council England, for the successful In Harmony Sistema England programme, targeting children and communities in areas of exceptional deprivation.

A national plan monitoring board, chaired by and answerable to Ministers, to hold those responsible for delivery across the national plan to account.

A national network of music education hubs, building on the existing music education provision, will bring together partnerships between music services, schools, education and arts organisations. Hubs will deliver at least some 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.

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.

Copies of “The Importance of Music”, together with funding allocations, have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.