Department for Culture, Media and Sport
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Children's music and arts initiatives receive £109 million boost

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announces £109 million funding to support children’s cultural education programmes.

A range of projects that support children’s music, filmmaking, dance and local-heritage activities are to receive funding worth more than £109 million in the 2015 to 2016 financial year, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced recently (25 January 2015).

Access to music and the arts is an important part of this government’s plan for education to ensure all children receive a broad and balanced education.

More than £4 million will be distributed to a number of organisations to support cultural education programmes, including the:

  • BFI Film Academy
  • National Youth Dance Company
  • Sorrell Foundation’s Art and Design Saturday Clubs

As a result of this funding, thousands more pupils will have the chance to develop their confidence and unique talents in arts disciplines, such as dance and film making, as well as having the opportunity to develop areas of personal interest through visits to museums and learning about local heritage.

The government also believes every child should have access to good music lessons and the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. The network of 123 music education hubs that supports schools with this task is set to benefit from £75 million of funding in the 2015 to 2016 financial year. An additional £1.1 million will be allocated this year to support education through 6 In Harmony programmes, and National Youth Music organisations such as the National Youth Orchestra and Music for Youth’s School Proms.

In addition, funding for the Music and Dance Scheme that supports exceptionally talented young musicians and dancers will increase to £29 million.

This brings the government’s investment in music and cultural education to more than £400 million since 2012.

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan said:

As part of our plan for education we believe every child should be able to enjoy music and the arts while they are at school.

To ensure this happens we are providing more than £109 million to support music, art and cultural education projects so thousands more pupils can benefit from a wide range of enriching activities.

Whether it is the dedication and perseverance it takes to learn an instrument, or the confidence and self-expression which they may find on the stage, this funding will ensure every child receives a truly rounded education that gives them an appreciation of Britain’s cultural heritage and prepares them for life in modern Britain.

Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

I want to see all children have access to the arts regardless of where they live and go to school.

By providing vital funding for local music, art and cultural education projects, with the support of the Arts Council, government will ensure that children have the opportunity to experience a broad selection of art and cultural activities on their doorstep. Not only will this give them the enriching experiences they need at a young age but will both develop the creative thinking that is powering the UK’s world-beating creative industries and spark a love of the arts that can last a lifetime.

Welcoming the news, Althea Efunshile, Acting Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

We welcome the Department for Education’s continued support for music and the arts in schools, in recognition of the importance of cultural education for children and young people.

This will allow the great work music education hubs and other cultural organisations are doing to continue, so every child has the opportunity to be inspired by the arts.

To ensure all children are able to enjoy high-quality arts teaching, music, which is a statutory subject for all 5- to 14-year-olds in local authority-maintained schools, has been reformed to make it more rigorous. The new national curriculum for music introduced in September 2014 aims to ensure all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated

Notes to editors

  1. The Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, English Heritage and Music for Youth will receive funding to manage the music and cultural education programmes in 2015 to 2016 on behalf of the government.
  2. A range of national music and cultural education programmes will benefit from the funding, including:
    • In Harmony, which aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived areas using the principles of orchestral music
    • the National Youth Music Organisations, including the:
      • National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
      • National Youth Jazz Collective
      • National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
    • the BFI Film Academy, which is helping to train the next generation of talented filmmakers through high-quality local and residential courses for 16- to 19-year-olds
    • the Sorrell Foundation’s National Art and Design Saturday Clubs, which give 14- to 16-year-olds the opportunity to participate in inspiring art classes every Saturday morning at local art and design colleges or universities, for free
    • the National Youth Dance Company, which provides talented performers aged 16 to 19 with intensive training and performance opportunities led by world-renowned choreographers
    • the Museums and Schools Programme, which links regional and national museums with schools so that more pupils visit museums in areas where take-up has traditionally been low
    • the Heritage Schools Programme, which helps schools across the country to make effective use of their local historic environment, celebrating and commemorating our culture and history and bringing the curriculum alive
    • Bridge Organisations, whose role is to bring together schools and cultural organisations
  3. On 22 July 2014, the Department for Education announced that an additional £18 million would be made available to support music education in 2015 to 2016. Of the £18 million, £17 million will be made available to music hubs, bringing the total to £75 million in 2015 to 2016. The additional £1 million will be provided to support the Music and Dance Scheme, which allows exceptionally talented pupils to receive specialist education and training, whatever their background, bringing the total to £29 million for 2015 to 2016.
  4. Music hubs were set up in August 2012 as part of the national plan for music education. In their first year the hubs gave nearly half a million children the opportunity to learn an instrument for the first time as well as working with over 15,000 choirs, orchestras and bands.

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