This is an exciting time for music education in England. From September 2012 music education will be delivered by local Music Education Hubs. This is an action point from ‘The Importance of Music – A National Plan for Music Education’, (NPME) launched on 25th November 2011 by Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey.
The NPME was prompted by ‘The Henley Review of Music Education’ published on 7th February 2011, which found that access to a quality music education was not guaranteed for all. Hubs are tasked to drive up quality and consistency of music provision locally by improved partnership working, better value for money, local innovation and greater accountability; according to the NPME within hubs all children should have the opportunity to learn an instrument, make music with others, learn to sing and progress.
Funding for music education comes from the Dept. for Education via Music Education Grant, with the Arts Council now operating as fund holder. There are 3 years protected funding £77m 2012; £65m 2013; £60m 2014 (previously £82.5 million in 2010). The majority will be invested in hubs and is being distributed to hubs following an open application process conducted by the Arts Council; it is planned that this will attract additional funding from other sources (local authorities, business, trusts, philanthropy etc.).
Hubs will provide instrumental lessons, bands, choirs, orchestras, and other music-making opportunities in and out of school for all children in their local area. Music Services are leading the majority of these hubs and involved in all of them. FMS is delighted that the leadership skills of Music Services have been so clearly recognised. The new hubs will build on the work of music services, which have been providing children with these kinds of opportunities since 1935. Hubs will be the focus of local partnerships which aim to give all children a chance to be young musicians and are part of wider government reforms to music education which promise fairer distribution of funding.
Over the last few months the Arts Council has been working closely with leaders of the 122 new hubs to ensure that all key partnerships and delivery plans are in place. For more information about hubs visit the Arts Council website.
Music Services are at the heart of all of the 122 hubs and if you want to find out more about your local hub please contact your local Music Service.