Gibb commits £5m to continue culture and music schemes

The government has committed £5 million to extend cultural education schemes aimed at getting school pupils to play instruments, learn about film making and visit museums.

The majority of this, £4 million, will fund programmes focused on getting pupils involved in film, dance, theatre and design for the 2020-21 year.

The remaining £1 million will pay for charities to help youngsters learn about different styles of music for another year.

The funding comes alongside the £80 million injection to extend the music education hubs scheme into 2020-21, as already reported in November.

The government has been heavily criticised over claims its EBacc performance measure is driving arts subjects out of the curriculum.

The Conservatives promised a new £111 million-a-year “arts premium” in their election manifesto, but this has been branded “slightly galling” and “too little, too late”. Further details of the premium have yet to be announced.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said today that 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”.

“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.”

A total of £500,000 will fund ‘In Harmony’ schemes that provide orchestral training to pupils in “extremely” disadvantaged areas.

The National Youth Music Organisations and Music for Youth will share £524,000 to provide music education.

The remaining £4 million will fund cultural education programmes ranging from giving pupils film-making lessons to studying art and design at their local college or university. Cash will be split between Heritage Schools, BFI Film Academy, Museums and Schools, ACE Bridge Network, National Youth Dance Company and Saturday Art and Design Clubs.

Hannah Fouracre, director music education at Arts Council England, said: “These programmes support a creative, diverse and inclusive music education for children and young people across England.”

The government used a funding announcement on its cultural programmes in 2018 to announce it was continuing grants into 2020 to help youngsters attend private art school.

However extension of funding for the ‘Music and dance’ and ‘Dance and drama awards’ schemes is not included in this announcement.

When asked about this, the department said the schemes aren’t connected to the music hubs programme and that future funding would be decided as part of normal department business planning.

As reported by Schools Week, the £80 million music hubs funding boost came despite concerns the scheme was a postcode lottery.

A report from think tank EDSK found that GCSE music entries have fallen 24 per cent since the introduction of the EBacc in 2010.