Girl learning violin

£75m has been allocated to the UK’s 123 music education hubs for 2016/17, maintaining funding from 2015/16, though not yet returning to the £82m allocated in the first year of the programme.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of Incorporated Society of Musicians, said that the news is “hugely welcome”, praising Secretary of State Nicky Morgan and the Schools Minister Nick Gibb for their support for music education. She said: “This funding is a critical component in supporting the fantastic work of the music education hubs and services up and down the country and ensures that all children have sufficient access to music education.”

The hubs are local partnerships which aim to offer all pupils the possibility of learning to play musical instruments and to sing and play in groups. In 2013/14, over 596,000 pupils learned to play an instrument through whole class ensemble teaching, and hubs provided or supported over 16,000 ensembles. However, an independent analysis in April 2015 concluded that the hubs “face continued challenges if they are to ensure effective progression and contribute to a high quality music education for an increasing number of pupils in future.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Education said: “At the heart of our commitment to extending opportunity is our belief that all pupils should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education and music is central to this.

“Once again we are investing £75m into music hubs in 2016/17 to ensure all children, whatever their background, get access to a high quality music education, including learning to play musical instruments and having the opportunity to play and sing in ensembles.”