Music Education

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 6:15 pm ar 19 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Ceidwadwyr, Northampton North 6:15, 19 Mawrth 2024

I rise to speak about the changes to funding for music education hubs. This Government have made an important and worthwhile commitment to a vision of enabling all children and young people to learn how to sing, to learn how to play a musical instrument and to have the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally, if that is what they want to do.

The 2022 national music plan published three key aims for music hubs: first, to support schools and other education settings to deliver high-quality music education; secondly, to support young people to further develop their musical interests and talent, including into employment in some cases; and thirdly, to support all children and young people to engage with a range of musical opportunities in and out of school.

By 2018, record numbers of children were learning instruments because of this Government’s actions. As my right hon. Friend the Schools Minister will know, music education hubs have been funded nationally to the level of around £75 million to £80 million a year since their inception under this Conservative Government in 2012, which is sometimes referred to as the national music grant.

However, the national music grant, which funds the functions of the music hub leads, has risen by only 1% since 2012. During this time, the Bank of England inflation calculator shows inflation running at 37%. As I am sure the House understands, it has therefore always been a challenge for music hubs to maintain their exceptional levels of service up and down the country.

My Northampton North constituency is home to a great many talented young musicians and performers. I spy many Northamptonshire Members in the House today, and they will know the value of music in their constituencies.