Sheffield Music Hub welcomes government pledge to invest £80 million in school music education
Sheffield Music Hub has welcomed a government pledge to invest £80 million in school music education.
The multi-million-pound investment from the Department for Education, which was announced on January 3, will see government-funded music education hubs receive a total of £80 million in funding through 2020/21 to provide more opportunities for students to learn instruments and perform in bands, choirs and orchestras.
A further £4 million will go towards cultural education programmes, allowing access to opportunities like dance, theatre, design and film, while £1 million has been earmarked for dedicated music education charities.
It is hoped more young people will be able to read and write music by the time they leave school.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said the continued investment will help young people “widen their horizons”.
The new funding scheme follows concerns that music was disappearing from the school curriculum, with an almost 25 per cent drop in GCSE take-up since 2010 and a 40 per cent drop at A-Level in the same period.
Research from the Association of School and College Leaders in 2018 also found that music was the fastest disappearing A-level subject.
Part of the decline has been blamed on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) – introduced in 2010 as a new accountability measure for schools – which critics say enforces a hierarchy of subjects and disincentives studying the arts.
Tapton School was forced to axe its music GCSE course from September 2019 after too few pupils chose to study the subject but it was later able to fund the first year following a successful fundraising campaign.
Ian Naylor, Head of Music Education at Sheffield Music Hub said: “It’s fantastic that the government has committed to continue to invest money into music hubs throughout the UK over 2020/21 and we’re incredibly grateful that students in Sheffield are given the opportunity to learn an instrument and involve music in their lives.
“Sheffield receives just under £800,000 of this fund, and whilst this is great, we would like more. With a vast amount of really talented children in every corner of the city, the more funding we can get, the better equipped we are to help them reach their full potential.”