Government announces extra funds and ends fears that local authorities will be asked to terminate music services.
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An additional £18m has been earmarked by the Government for music education in 2015/16. The money will be used for music services including the 123 music education hubs, taking the total funding available to £75m – a significant increase on this year’s £58m. The Government has also announced that local authorities will have “total discretion” about whether to fund music services. This reverses the plan, laid out in a recent consultation, for music services to be funded exclusively through the hubs, which prompted wide-spread condemnation and the major ‘Protect Music Education’ campaign led by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM).
The Minister of State for Schools, David Laws MP, said: “Many were concerned that any reduced local authority support for music services would impact on the overall quality of music provision and in particular on the opportunities for disadvantaged children.”
The ISM has welcomed both announcements. Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM said: “We are delighted that the minister has chosen to withdraw the damaging guidance to local authorities that they should cease funding music services. We welcome the minister’s confirmation that music education services can be funding by their local authorities and we hope that any local authorities considering cutting funding think twice before doing so.”