Government commits £5 million to school cultural schemes


Schools minister Nick Gibb has promised £5 million to extend cultural education schemes for the next academic year in both primary school and secondary school.

All of the schemes focus on developing cultural understanding and the arts by encouraging pupils to visit museums, learn to play new instruments and to discover film making.

The funding builds on £80 million that was pumped into music education hubs in November to continue the schemes through 2020-2021.

Of the additional finances, £4 million will help to develop more programmes that encourage pupils to get into dance, theatre, film and design.

A further £1 million will cover the costs associated with having charities working in schools to help young people to uncover new music styles.

Mr Gibb said the latest investment will help pupils to “widen their horizons” when it comes to music, regardless of whether playing at home or performing publicly.

“Music, arts and culture play an essential role in enriching pupils’ education, and we want to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to learn an instrument or perform in a choir or a band,” he explained.

After the latest funding announcement, it means that four main schemes are set to split the £85 million of funding, with each of the following receiving a share:

  • Music education hubs – organisations that provide access to instruments for pupils and encourage class-wide teaching.
  • In Harmony – a scheme that provides orchestral training in very disadvantaged areas will receive £500,000.
  • National Youth Music Organisations and Music for Youth – the two schemes that seek to provide music education in schools will share £524,000.
  • Cultural education – schemes include Saturday Art and Design Clubs that encourage pupils to take up art and design, Museums and Schools which promotes school museum visits, and the BFI Film Academy which seeks to get youngsters to take up film making.

The director of music education at Arts Council England, Hannah Fouracre, said the programmes will “support a creative, diverse and inclusive music education” for young people across England.

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