William Eichler 03 January 2020

Whitehall promises £85m ‘culture boost’ after decade of school cuts

Whitehall promises £85m ‘culture boost’ after decade of school cuts image

The Government has committed to investing millions of pounds into film, dance, theatre and design lessons and facilities for secondary school children.

School standards minister Nick Gibb has said that £80m will go into Music Education Hubs, which are organisations that give pupils access to instruments.

Charities that help young people learn about different styles of music are also set to receive £1m next year and a series of other cultural education programmes, such as Heritage Schools and BFI Film Academy, will get £4m.

‘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,’ Mr Gibb said.

‘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.’

The director of music education for Arts Council England, Hannah Fouracre, said she was ‘delighted’ by the announcement.

‘These programmes support a creative, diverse and inclusive music education for children and young people across England,’ she said.

Music education in schools has been hit hard by a decade of austerity, according to a report published in April 2019.

Authored by the Musicians’ Union and supported by UK Music and the Music Industries Association, The State of Play reported that music education in the UK was in a ‘perilous state’.

Based on a poll of more than 1,000 heads, teachers, music service managers and instrumental teachers, the report said that 97% of classroom music teachers lacked confidence in the Government’s handling of music education.

The report also warned that cuts, a demoralised workforce, and inequality in instrumental provision were undermining the teaching of music.

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