DfE consults on new music education blueprint

The government is to fine tune its national plan for music this autumn to ‘level up’ the opportunities offered to pupils “regardless of their background”, minister Nick Gibb said today.

Music industry and education experts are being invited to suggest ways to improve the blueprint for music education to ensure that all children benefit. The government also wants to keep up with advances in technology over how music is created, recorded and produced.

The call for evidence comes amid concerns that music is being pushed out of the classroom due to cuts and the government’s EBacc focus.

Schools Week has also reported how the government’s music education hubs – a key part of the national plan for music when it launched nine years ago – are struggling to attract older pupils and have large regional variations in reach.

Gibb said: “All children, regardless of their background, should get the opportunity to play musical instruments, learn to sing and learn how to read and write music in the classroom.

“I want to continue to level up opportunities so all young people can get the best out of their music education. We can only achieve this if we reflect on the latest advances in music and work together with experts in the music industry, specialist teachers, as well as reflecting on young people’s experiences.”

The consultation to refresh the national plan for music education, first published in 2011, includes specific questions on areas experts have said are “particularly important” including SEND and inclusivity.

Last month, the government announced another £80 million to fund music education hubs, whereby organisations enable pupils to access to instruments and support whole classes to play together, in 2020-21. A non-statutory music curriculum is also being drawn up.

Darren Henley, chief executive of the Arts Council, urged everyone “who cares about music” to have their say. “The government’s commitment to a new national plan for music education is an exciting step in nurturing the next generation of creative talent across England. These young people will go on to become the music industry professionals and the audiences of the future.”

The consultation runs until March 13. The plan will be published in autumn.