Music student with laptop

DfE appoints panel ‘to shape future of music education’

In preparation for the publication of a new National Plan for Music Education (NPME) for England to be published in 2022 the Department for Education (DfE) has announced a new 15-strong advisory panel made up of teachers, music hub leaders, music industry representatives and other music education experts.

Panel members include Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England (ACE), whose independent Review of Music Education in England informed the original NPME.

The new NPME will be informed by the music education consultation report published on 6 August 2021 and will build upon the current plan that saw the establishment of the national network of music hubs, which support the delivery of music education in schools across England.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said, ‘Having the opportunity to be taught and play musical instruments is enriching and fulfilling. I, like many others, wish I’d had a stronger music education and had more of an opportunity to play instruments in my time at school.

‘That’s why we want all schools to have a rigorous and broad music curriculum, that inspires their pupils to love music, and the new panel will play a vital part in achieving that by informing the new National Plan for Music Education.

Their wealth of experience will be hugely valuable to the future of music education, helping to inspire a new generation of musicians in this country.

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said, ‘I’m delighted to have such a brilliant team of music industry experts supporting this refresh of the National Plan for Music Education.

‘The panel’s expertise will guide us to ensure that young people from all backgrounds will have access to an exceptional music education. This will not only benefit student wellbeing, but also help grow the pipeline of people participating in our wonderful cultural and creative sectors.’

Every child and young person should have the opportunity to access and experience music with no barriers

Yolanda Brown

The appointment of the panel, chaired by Veronica Wadley (Baroness Fleet), follows a government consultation on music education which found that studying music can have a positive impact on young people’s wellbeing, confidence and communication skills.

Panel member YolanDa Brown said, ‘Music is powerful, it gives joy, hope, escapism and more. I believe that every child and young person should have the opportunity to access and experience music with no barriers, from the most diverse composers and genres.

‘I am honoured to be part of the NPME advisory panel, full of passionate people who like me, want something special for young people across the country on their music education journey.’

Panel members

  • Veronica Wadley (Baroness Fleet) (Chair) – Co-Founder and Chair of the London Music Fund, Council Member of Royal College of Music, Governor of Yehudi Menuhin School and Chair of the Expert Panel for the Model Music Curriculum
  • Bridget Whyte – CEO, The UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark
  • Carolyn Baxendale MBE – Head of Bolton Music Service (Greater Manchester Music Education Hub)
  • Catherine Barker – Head of Music and Performing Arts, United Learning and President-Elect, Music Teachers’ Association
  • Darren Henley – Chief Executive, Arts Council England (ACE)
  • David Stanley BEM – Chief Executive and Founder, The Music Man Project and UK Government’s Arts and Culture Disability and Access Ambassador
  • Ed Watkins – Director of Music, West London Free School
  • Jamie Njoku-Goodwin – Chief Executive, UK Music
  • Jonathan Badyal – Head of Communications, Universal Music UK
  • Naveed Idrees OBE – Headteacher Feversham Primary Academy
  • Phil Castang – Director of Creative Learning and Engagement, Bristol Beacon and Chairman of the Music Education Council
  • Sarah Alexander OBE – Chief Executive and Artistic Director, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
  • Simon Toyne – Executive Director of Music, David Ross Education Trust
  • Dr Steven Berryman – Director of Arts, Culture and Community, for the Odyssey Trust for Education
  • YolanDa Brown – Musician / Broadcaster

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