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A Letter to the New Secretary of State for Education

11th July 2024

On 11th July 2024 we wrote to Labour’s Secretary of State for Education, Bridget Phillipson, to congratulate her on her appointment and offer our support in fulfilling the manifesto promises for music education. You can read the letter below:


Dear Secretary of State for Education

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Membership and staff team at the UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the Secretary of State for Education.

Music Mark is the membership association for organisations, including those within the Music Hub partnerships and individuals working to provide musical learning opportunities to children and young people across early years, schools and higher and further education settings as well as through community projects and programmes. Over the past few years we have been proud to lead on campaigns such as ‘10 Things Every Schools Should Know About Music’, A School Governors Guide to Music, ‘Get Playing’ (an awareness campaign for parents and carers about the value of learning music after the Pandemic which includes a search engine too to find your local music education provision) and CanDoMusic (an information portal for music teachers developed in partnership with the other two Music Subject Associations). We are funded by Arts Council England as a sector support organisation and have provided your department with regular insights into music education through the collective experience and expertise of our membership.

Based on our role as the voice for music education we are keen to support you and your ministerial team as you start to consider how you will fulfil the manifesto promises for education, and more especially music education. We are particularly keen to help realise your ambition to ensure that all young people can get the skills, care and opportunities they deserve. Musical learning can not only provide skills which can result in a rewarding career in the music industry – which in 2022 was worth £6.7bn to the UK economy – but also skills which are sought in many other professions – including being Prime Minister! Music also has a valued role in supporting the wellbeing of children and young people and of course every pupil deserves the opportunity to experience playing an instrument, singing and creating music beyond the curriculum.
We are looking forward to hearing more about your vision for the education system next week, and hopefully to meeting with you and your ministerial colleagues to expand on how we can support you in your ambitions for young people.

Yours sincerely

Bridget Whyte
CEO, The UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark