To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure the availability of music education in schools during the covid-19 outbreak.
27 October 2020
The Government published guidance for full opening of schools this academic year, and makes it clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of pupils are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music.
There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, and playing of wind or brass instruments, takes place. The guidance also sets out detailed advice on how schools can teach music safely. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#A.
The Government has announced the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade which will give every school more money for every child. We are investing a total of £14.4 billion more in schools over the next three financial years, with a cash increase of £2.6 billion in 2020-21, and increases of £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to the financial year 2019-20. Schools have the autonomy to use these resources as they see best, to ensure that they teach a broad and balanced curriculum.
In terms of wider support for music in schools, the Government provided £300 million for a network of Music Education Hubs between 2016 and 2020. In January, the Government announced a further £80 million investment in Music Education Hubs for the financial year 2020-21 to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality music education. The hubs continue to provide a range of opportunities for young people, including whole class instrumental teaching, individual lessons, ensembles, choirs and more. Schools should work with their hubs to ensure a quality music education for all pupils this year.