As reported over on The Guardian’s classical music blog, the culture minister Ed Vaizey reveals that there will continue to be a pot of money allocated to music education next year.
The previous government had set up a Music Standards Fund, dedicated to music provision, which is due to end next year. Vaizey declares that a ring-fenced amount of funding will replace it.
Music provision in primary education is a matter of hit and miss, dependent on local variables: it depends on whether the school values the arts generally and music in particular, whether it has a dedicated music specialist teaching a focused music curriculum; sometimes, it’s just a matter of whether a member of staff happens a) to have an interest or a facility in a particular musical discipline and b) to be sufficiently motivated to run such classess off their own bat.
This creates widespread inequality in provision at primary level across schools, quite apart from the LEA-allocation model that existed under the Conservatives in the mid-80’s. Hopefully, music education and county music provision will continue to be funded under the Coalition, although with arts funding cuts announced earlier this week, whether there will be musical opportunities for the current generation of primary school children when they come to the employment market as adults remains to be seen…