The National Plan for Music Education
Following the publication of the Henley Review of Music Education in February of this year, the long awaited National Plan for Music Education was finally launched on Friday 25th. November. Also announced were funding allocations to support music education in each English Local Authority area.
The Plan is intended to provide a comprehensive blueprint for the development of effective support for children and young people to access high quality affordable opportunities to make music and develop their skills. Music can change lives, and it is recognised that it can be particularly effective when working with vulnerable groups, such as young offenders, pupils with learning difficulties or mental health problems and those from particularly challenging home backgrounds. The Plan’s fundamental message is that in order to do this all stakeholders need to work together in partnership to a common agreed agenda.
Arts Council England will be the fundholders on behalf of the DfE between 2012 and 2015. Local Authority Music Hubs will be invited to bid for funds to support their aspirations, building on and supporting the excellent work of music services, and adding other funding, resources and expertise.The overall funding, given the current gloomy economic climate, is very encouraging and displays a real commitment to music education from the government. Over three years, the funding available to the county is maintained at its current level, although the overall amounts reduce year on year. This the result of a levelling up of historic underfunding over the past 10 years.
Gloucestershire Music works effectively with many different partners and has been discussing the formation of a hub with them for some time. We will work with schools, the local authority and all providers of musical opportunities in the county to ensure both universality of provision, and the identification and support of talented children and young people whatever their background. We will ensure effective musical pathways for all, and support and develop the workforce via comprehensive training programmes. Gloucestershire Music Makers (combining Gloucestershire Music Forum and Forest of Dean Music Makers) will be important in combining and focussing knowlege an expertise in supporting vulnerable groups, and also in pulling down funding to enable them to do this.
Finally we will continue to advocate the power and importance of music, and seek to provide access throughout the county to a wide range of styles and genres.
Full details of the National Music Plan and funding details are available on the Federation of Music Services website: http://www.thefms.org/the-fms/professional/national-plan-for-music-education/.