21 October 2010

Will the music education grant be preserved?


Schools funding is safe but what about the music standards fund
The coalition government’s comprehensive spending review has meant that schools in England are to get a real-terms increase in funding. However, what does it mean for music education in the form of the Music Grant (formerly the music standards fund).
The music grant is a high source of funding for Local Authority Music Services around the UK. Henley’s music review is to be announced next month and leaders and officials have suggested that this will form the basis of any decisions made on funding. However, the local government settlement means that it will need to reduce the number of core grants from 90 to 10.
‘We would strike a serious note of caution at the suggestion of the end of ring-fenced funding,’ said Virginia Haworth-Galt, chief executive of the Federation of Music Services.

She continued: ‘We hope that there will be no arbitrary decisions made on music budgets before the Department for Education’s own review of the funding and delivery of music education has been completed.’
But Council leaders have already been stung by a cut of £311m in area-based education grants announced by Michael Gove in the summer, and the end of National Strategies next April means there has already been a reduction in support services.80% of local authorities plant to cut education services. Leaving 1000’s of teachers and education staff facing redundancy.

Deborah Annetts, chair of the Music Education Council,‘At the moment it’s difficult to say exactly what it does mean for music education. There is a possibility that ring-fenced funding will no longer be going into music education. We don’t know, but that has always been a risk.
‘It does make the Henley review even more significant. Arguing passionately for music education, being the very best advocates and speaking with one voice becomes even more important.’
To read the full CSR go to www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/spend_sr2010_documents.htm

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