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 Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 6:15, 19 Mawrth 2024

Music hubs have a vital role in providing high-quality music education to 87% of schools in England, as well as providing support outside schools. The right hon. and learned Gentleman rightly says that music hubs have effectively been on standstill funding for a decade, during a time of increasing costs, staff pay, venue hire and utility bills. I am sure that he will be moving on to discuss that, but I wish to add to it by setting out that the threats to the financial security of music hubs are a real concern. These hubs are often the only providers of instrumental tuition—at no cost or in heavily subsidised form—in state schools.

We have what is starting to be considered a crisis in music education, given that the number of young musicians being taught at advanced level by music hubs has halved over the past decade, and sadly there are now 20,000 fewer state school bands, orchestras, ensembles and choirs than there were seven years ago, so this is a timely debate. Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that by not addressing the funding issues, which I hope he is going to come on to, the Government risk losing music teachers, musicians and audience members, as well as failing to give children access to an activity that holds so many benefits for their academic, social and emotional development?