School Standards Minister Nick Gibb announced an £85m funding package on 3 January 2020 alongside a manifesto commitment to offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to allow young people to learn creative skills and widen their horizons.
The total amount comprises £80 million for music hubs in England coupled with further investment in film, dance, theatre and design.
Music hubs, which are partnership-based, regional organisations that support music education in schools, including through subsidised instrument lessons and ensembles, have received government support of £300m between 2016 and 2020. The government’s money is channelled to hubs by Arts Council England, which administers the funding scheme.
Alongside this investment, charities that help young people learn about different styles of music are also set to receive a further £1 million next year to support the next generation of musicians.
Pupils will also have more opportunities to put their film making skills to the test, explore museums or take to the stage, as a series of other cultural education programmes receive an additional £4 million funding boost next year.
Music Mark, the national music education umbrella organisation for local music education which counts music hubs among its membership, commented on social media:
‘A gentle reminder that a decade ago Music Services received £82m. With inflation, in 2020/21 shouldn’t Music Education Hubs receive at least £100m?’
According to a DfE spokesperson, the latest funding is separate from the ‘arts premium’ of at least £107m per year to be paid to secondary schools from the 2021/22 to 2023/24 financial years, according to a costing document published alongside the Conservative Party’s election manifesto. The DfE also confirmed that the National Plan for Music Education would be ‘refreshed’ and that plans would be confirmed ‘in due course’.
The curriculum schemes that will receive a total of £85 million for 2020/21 are as follows:
- Music hubs
- In Harmony
- National Youth Music Organisations (NYMOs) and Music for Youth; and
- Cultural education (Heritage Schools, BFI Film Academy, Museums and Schools, ACE Bridge Network, National Youth Dance Company, Saturday Art and Design Clubs)
Nick Gibb said:
‘Music, arts and culture play an essential role in enriching pupils’ education, and we want to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to learn an instrument or perform in a choir or a band.
‘Our continued investment will play an important role in helping young people widen their horizons and access all the opportunities that learning a musical instrument can provide – whether that be playing for pleasure or performing.’
Hannah Fouracre, Director Music Education, Arts Council England said:
‘We’re delighted that this funding from the Department for Education has been confirmed.
‘These programmes support a creative, diverse and inclusive music education for children and young people across England.’