Tuesday, 8 February 2011 12:00 AM
Commenting on Darren Henley's review 'Music Education in England' and the Government's response, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union said;
"Many music services have already been hit by cuts to Local Authority budgets. With inflation running at near 5% the freezing of the funding does not 'protect' music services as the Government claims. This is a real terms cut which will be compounded by the possibility of LA's losing up to 10% of their music budgets as the Government moves towards a national funding formula.
"There is no point pontificating about the benefits that music brings to children and young people if you do not fund it properly. Securing funding for just one year does not give schools the confidence to invest in something they may not be able to fund the following year.
"For the report to suggest that, while not ideal, children at Key Stage 2 should at least be given the opportunity to have one term of weekly music tuition is really quite telling. This recommendation gives a truer picture of the ability of schools to find sufficient money and resources for music.
"In the current economic climate music lessons will very likely be seen as a luxury in many households. Means testing will also act as a barrier, particularly for those groups just on the borderline on having to pay. It is essential that music becomes part of the National Curriculum. It is only through timetabled music lessons that a minimum entitlement with sufficient resources and teacher expertise can be guaranteed.
For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061