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  Screen capture from Music funding protected for the next year

Music funding protected for the next year

A grant of £82.5 million will fund music education for the next year, as the Government aims to hold off cuts to services.

"Music has the power to touch the soul. It is a universal language understood by people of every culture" - Michael Gove MP, Education Secretary

Speaking following the launch of the Henley Report into music education, Education Secretary Michael Gove said "Music has the power to touch the soul. It is a universal language understood by people of every culture. And it gives us all the chance to be transported by beauty... But access to the best musical education is not universal and the opportunity to benefit from great instrumental tuition is not shared equally."

Mr Gove said that the divide between opportunities for the richer and poorer pupils in the country's schools must be bridged to ensure everyone had the same access to learning.

The report into music education was written by Classic FM's managing director Darren Henley. The report stresses the importance of music in schools and highlights its value across the curriculum in providing motivation and enthusiasm for pupils. Mr Henley points out that it is important that music stays on the curriculum, although with the current investigations into curriculum and the fact that it isn't one of the core subjects on the English Bac it could come under fire as a 'soft subject'. Mr Henley also pointed out that there are so many bodies involved in music education across schools and the music profession that they really need to work better together to have an impact on the subject.

He also announced the start of Teach Music First, a scheme based around Teach First, aimed at bringing more professional musicians into schools to share their skills and train as teachers.

Naomi MacDonald from the Musicians' Union said they were generally pleased with the Henley report and acknowledged that different bodies need to work together better, but that there were still flaws in the government's plans. She said the lack of funding after the current year was a worry and some of their members had already been made redundant or received notice that this was a possibility, due to local authorities having to introduce cost-cutting measures. And while many musicians already do some teaching or would welcome the opportunities of a Teach Music First scheme, there had to be funding to provide them with jobs.

She said: "It's all very well to encourage musicians to develop their career and look at teaching... as long as the jobs are there. And at the moment I've got members calling me on a daily basis saying they've received notices they may be made redundant."

Mr Gove announced that the government would match the current level of funding for the next year but that a comprehensive study of education funding would take place to generate a more permanent solution.

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