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Ensuring the Future of Music Education

5th March 2024

We have announced the development of six calls to action which will be presented to all political parties ahead of the UK election this year. The purpose of the six calls to action is to make the case to any new UK government that it should understand the value of music education and appreciate the positive impact music can have on health, wellbeing, academic achievement, and soft skills. We’re calling for all UK political parties to embrace our vision of accessible and excellent musical learning for all children and young people. 

Currently, funding for education and the arts in the UK is devolved. Similarly to the other three nations, England actively allocates additional funding beyond that given to schools to provide a broader universal instrumental and vocal offer recognising the subject’s value in supporting childhood development and aiming to address ongoing inequitable provision. However, government policy and investment are currently insufficient to enable the music education sector to ensure all children and young people benefit from musical learning. The Headteacher from Birkwood Primary School praises the benefit that music education brings to the school “Music brings a school to life! Music has a positive impact socially and academically, as well as on mental health and wellbeing.”  

As a leading advocate for music education, we recognise the vital role that music plays in the development and well-being of individuals and communities. Therefore, we have developed six calls to action, which were formed in consultation with our membership and the wider Music Education sector, for all political parties to commit to during the next parliamentary term: 

  1. Government investment must be sustained and keep pace with both its ambition and inflation. 
  2. Music Education must be understood, valued and financially supported by stakeholders in all schools. 
  3. There must be a universal understanding that music education does not start at 5 or finish at 18. 
  4. Priority must be placed on the recruitment and retention of classroom music teachers. 
  5. Instrumental & Vocal Teachers must be recognised, valued and be an integrated part of the education workforce.  
  6. Government must work with the Commercial Music Industry to co-invest in musical learning. 

It is essential that all political parties recognise the value of music education and commit to supporting these calls to action for the benefit of current and future generations.” Bridget Whyte, CEO, Music Mark 

We have put together a concise document which goes into more detail on why this commitment from political parties is needed, as well as more information on each of the six calls to action. This document also acts as a resource for those who are advocating for music education and those who can talk to their MPs, local councillors and other key decision makers. You can download the document below. The set of calls to action can provide guidance for conversations with politicians and creates a unified message to the government from the music education sector.