Posted on 2 March 2011
The Musicians Benevolent Fund has welcomed the recently published Review of Music Education in England by Darren Henley, Managing Director of Classic FM.
Commissioned by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, the report considers how to secure the best music education for all children and young people.
While concluding that many children in England benefit from excellent music education, the report suggests that provision is still ‘distinctly patchy’ and argues that where music education is delivered at its best, there are strong partnerships and imaginative collaborations between schools, music services and other organisations at a local level.
Amongst the 36 recommendations are proposals that:
- Music should remain a statutory requirement of the National Curriculum
- Ring-fenced central funding for local music education should continue
- A Music Education Hub should be established in each Local Authority area bringing together schools, Local Authority Music Services, music organisations and other delivery organisations
- The Music and Dance Scheme should continue to help exceptionally talented individuals and the achievements of these young musicians and their teachers should be celebrated
- A new qualification should be developed for musicians involved in education or teaching that would professionalise and acknowledge their role in and out of school
In its response, the Government proposes to develop and consult on a National Plan for Music Education, building on Henley’s recommendations. It has also committed a further year of central funding for Local Authority Music Services, with some transitional support for the successful Sing Up initiative and the In Harmony projects in Lambeth, Norwich and Liverpool.
The Musicians Benevolent Fund works closely with partner organisations to support the next generation of professional musicians, supporting outstandingly talented young artists to fulfil their musical potential.
David Sulkin, Chief Executive of the Musicians Benevolent Fund, said: "The future of the UK’s musical culture is dependent upon sustaining an excellent music education sector that offers inspiring opportunities to children and young people whatever their background. Darren Henley’s review underlines the importance of partnership working to achieve high quality provision with clear progression routes for talented young musicians. We welcome the Education Secretary’s commitment to music education and look forward to working with the music sector and Government to support the development of a national plan for music education."