The Music Industries Association (MIA) has expressed concern about some pre-emptive action now being taken by certain local authorities to cut back on music services and music teaching provision across the country. This appears to be happening despite a statement made by the government in December last year that they expect to ‘continue to provide funding’ for music education.
In particular, the MIA has learned that 34 per cent of Music Services surveyed have been issued 'at risk' or 'Section 188' notices, that increasing numbers of Local Authorities are ceasing to fund Music Services as they are non-statutory and those authorities that are continuing funding are reducing contributions, that there is a move away from full and part-time contracts to self-employment and hourly paid work in order to reduce cost, and that most Music Services are awaiting decisions from central government before confirming their plans for 2011/2012 or beyond.
"We are extremely concerned about these actions that are clearly being taken even before we know the recommendations to be made following the review of music education being undertaken by Darren Henley, which is not yet published," pointed out Paul McManus, the CEO of the MIA. "Music Services are an important and proven mechanism for delivering high-quality education and training to schools and can achieve more than individual schools can on their own.
"In addition, we are conscious of the statement made by the Secretary of State for Education last year, when he made it clear that the government ‘expected to continue to provide funding’ despite the fact that current grants are ending. He re-stated his ‘commitment to improving music education’ and drew attention to the Henley Review of Music Education."
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The UK economy, through its creative industries, benefits significantly from music with over 130,000 people employed actively in the making, performing, recording and distributing of music contributing nearly £5 billion to the economy annually. Just as importantly, music develops creativity and contributes uniquely to raising attainment in literacy and numeracy and is therefore a key part of a broad and balanced school curriculum.
For more information on this press release or the MIA in general, please contact Paul McManus here or call the MIA office on 01372 750600.