Music Education Hub investment
The Musicians’ Union (MU) has said the continued investment in Music Education Hubs from the Government will provide ‘welcome relief’ to those working in the sector. Responding to the announcement that the Government will inject £300 million into 212 Music Education Hubs in England over the next four years, the MU said it is “pleased that the Government has acknowledged the importance of both access and opportunity to music making opportunities for all children, regardless of whether they can afford it or not, as these are issues that we have continually lobbied on and raised through our annual Hub Report.”
However, the MU believes the funding announcement does not redress local authority cuts “which have resulted in many music services making their teachers redundant or reducing terms and conditions and the detrimental impact this has had on the music teaching workforce”.
“Neither does it address the fact that music has been sidelined within the core curriculum for schools because of the Ebacc, and fewer students are being offered it at a subject at KS3 and above,” added the Union.
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“Music teachers continue to deliver amazing work in often quite challenging circumstances (as seen at the Music for Youth Proms this week) and the MU celebrates this.
“However, we urge the Department of Education and Arts Council England (ACE) to challenge those Music Education Hubs that are struggling to deliver their core objectives and to allow alternative organisations to bid in an open and transparent process to lead them if appropriate.”
The Union concluded: “We also ask that those teachers who have come together to form alternative models of working , such as the Music Teacher Co-operatives, are supported as the Government’s plan needs a skilled workforce to deliver it.”
The Music Education Hubs were first set up in 2012 and allow children to learn an instrument, play in bands and sing in choirs. For the first four years of the project, the Government spent £271 million.
The MU’s worries were shared by the NASUWT teachers’ union, which called the new cash injection a “sticking plaster to cover up a gaping wound”.