As the UK’s National Plan for Music Education is unveiled, questions still remain about the amount of funding behind the initiative, as well as the number of trained teachers. By Peter Somerford
As the UK’s National Plan for Music Education is unveiled, questions still remain about the amount of funding behind the initiative, as well as the number of trained teachers
On 25 June the UK government unveiled its long-awaited National Plan for Music Education (NPME) for England. Titled The Power of Music to Change Lives (PDF: bit.ly/3vejGFU), the NPME refreshes an eleven-year-old national plan, and while the music education sector has widely welcomed the ambitious scope, focus and aims of the new plan, big questions remain about funding levels and the training and development of the classroom teacher workforce.
The NPME, which is non-statutory, features positive language about the importance of music in schools, and about inclusion and access, stating on its opening page that ‘music is an essential part of a broad and ambitious curriculum for all pupils. It must not be the preserve of the privileged few. Music should be planned and taught as robustly as any other foundation curriculum subject.’ Whereas a major outcome of the 2011 plan was the establishment of a network of music hubs to provide music services across England, the refreshed plan recognises the central role of schools in delivering music teaching. The NPME restates a goal of last year’s Model Music Curriculum for schools to provide at least one hour of curriculum music every week for key stages 1 to 3. In addition, the plan envisages high-quality school music provision as giving pupils access to lessons across a range of instruments and voice; a school choir; a school ensemble; space for rehearsals and individual practice; a termly school performance; and a live performance at least once a year…
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