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Arts Council cuts affect music education

31 March 2011

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced its funding plans for 2011-2015, which will ensure that £10.5 million Lottery money per year is targeted at work with children and young people. This will be delivered through the new National Portfolio Organisations to a group of ‘Bridge’ delivery organisations who will work directly with schools and communities.

Plans for the National Portfolio, akin to the previously-termed Regularly Funded Organisations (RFO), will come into effect from April 2012. Following cuts from government, 206 existing RFOs will no longer receive funding, while 110 new organisations will receive funding. Overall, the number of organisations funded by the arts council has been cut from 849 to 695.

Some of the notable changes affecting music education include a 44% cut to Orchestras Live and a 9.1% cut to SoundLINCS, while Dartington Hall Trust and a number of borough councils appear to be among those who failed to qualify for funding. However, the Barbican, which oversees a substantial body of education projects through its LINK alliance, has been awarded a 108.7% increase in funding.

ACE has recognised the value of music education. Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of ACE, says that ACE will be ‘encouraging work that really enthuses children and young people – because that’s where it all begins.’

Fees guide for music teachers

24 March 2011

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has released results from a survey of its members regarding the fees they charge for tuition. The survey was conducted at the start of this year, and reflects the opinions of over 1,000 music teachers, both private and those self-employed in schools. The survey found that most charged between £25 and £35 per hour, so a mid-point of £30 per hour, though there were notable regional variations.

Deborah Annetts, the ISM’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This is the only survey of its type in the UK. Combined with our fee recommendations for 2011/12, it provides helpful information for schools, music services and all those working as music teachers.’

Further details of the survey and fee recommendations are listed in the Policy and Advice pages of the ISM website,

Creative Scotland reveals ten-year plan

21 March 2011

Creative Scotland has announced a ten-year corporate plan in a report entitled Investing in Scotland’s Creative Future. The plan offers a comprehensive statement of their aspirations and actions for the next three years, continuing current good practice as well as introducing specific initiatives across arts, culture, film, TV and the creative industries.

The plan identifies five key areas of investment: talent; quality artistic production; audiences, access and participation; the cultural economy; and places and their contribution to a creative Scotland. Creative Scotland will use a mix of government funding, lottery funding and other income to work with partners across Scotland to deliver their cultural vision.

The document will be used to inform discussions on the longer term cultural aims for Scotland and can be read at

Campaign for music's inclusion in the English Baccalaureate

15 March 2011

The ISM, FMS, Conservatoires UK and the Music Industries Association (MIA) are actively campaigning for music to be included on the English Baccalaureate, following early indications from government that the arts, technology and economics subjects will all be excluded.

ISM and Conservatoires UK have submitted evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, which is currently defining the components of the proposed English Baccalaureate. Recents surveys from NAME and ISM imply that GCSE Music is already being sidelined in some schools as Headteachers scramble to increase attainment figures in the five baccalaureate subjects.

Paul McManus, Chief Executive of the MIA, said: ‘The proposals clearly pose a threat to the future of music education in this country. This is extremely short-sighted and risks undermining the considerable benefits that music in the curriculum can bring.’

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM added that 'Darren Henley's independent review of music education was unequivocal in its warning about the risk of excluding music from the English Baccalaureate. Given the Government's commitment to music education and statement that "music is an enriching and valuable academic subject", we are continuing to call for music to be included.’

Sing Up to receive £4m funding for 2011-12

15 March 2011

Following a wealth of evidence submitted to the Henley Review in support of the National Singing Programme, the government has committed to supporting Sing Up for a ‘transition year’ so that the programme can establish a sustainable way forward away from central funding.

It has been determined that £4m will be awarded to sustain and develop the extensive resources and website. Additionally the money will enable the continuation of the Sing Up Training Programme, Sing Up Awards and to maintain the networks and partnerships at the heart of their work.

Baz Chapman, Sing Up’s programme director said: ‘This investment is a great testament to the impact and value of the programme we’ve all worked so hard on for the last three and a half years. We are now looking forward to using the coming year to continue to grow and develop Sing Up, enabling it to have a sustainable future.’  

For more information visit Sing Up's website

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