The National Plan for Music Education

The music education offered by hubs was first outlined in 2011 within the Department for Education’s document ‘The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education’. The aims are listed as Core roles and Extension roles and with financial support from the DfE via Arts Council England in the form of an annual grant, we are able to offer highly subsidised high quality experiences that provide inspiration and value for money.

On the 25th of June 2022 the DfE released a refreshed version of this plan called ‘The Power of Music to Change Lives: a National Plan for Music Education’.

This refreshed plan builds on the original and includes a focus on early years and progression through school, until a life long appreciation and/or a professional career in music. It moves away from specific core and extension roles and highlights the importance of hubs providing access to a broad musical culture. The plan recognises that more needs to be done to support teachers, leaders, schools, trusts and hubs to deliver the best for children and young people.

There is clear recognition of the importance of schools in providing music opportunities in and out of the classroom, and identifies these key common features of high-quality music provision in schools. The DfE would like to see the following offered in every school and hubs are able to support and advise on:

  • Timetabled curriculum of at least one hour each week of the school year for key stages 1-3
  • Access to lessons across a range of instruments, and voice
  • A school choir and/or vocal ensemble
  • A school ensemble/band/group
  • Space for rehearsals and individual practice
  • termly school performance
  • Opportunity to enjoy live performance at least once a year

Hubs will be implementing the new plan as soon as possible, given a transition period to move away from the core and extension roles.

The Core Roles

  • To ensure that every child aged 5 – 18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole-week class ensemble teaching programmes, with weekly tuition on the same instrument for ideally a year (but for a minimum of a term)
  • To provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage
  • To ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people
  • To develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area

Extension Roles

  • To offer Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to school staff, particularly in supporting schools to deliver music in the curriculum;
  • To provide an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes.
  • To provide access to large scale and/or high quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and/or venues.