House of Lords transcript on the new National Plan for Music Education November 2022

Friday November 18th 2022

See the House of Lords transcript about the new National Plan for Music Education here


The main points extracted:


Baroness Fleet (Con)

  • In future, primary schools may well find it hard to be awarded “excellent” if they do not provide high quality music education.
  • we would like to see every school—primary and secondary—have timetabled curriculum music of an absolute minimum of one hour a week, a music development plan, access to lessons for all across a range of instruments, a school choir or voice ensemble and an instrumental ensemble or band. Every school should have space for rehearsals and individual practice, a school music performance every term and the opportunity for children to go to a live performance at least once a year.
  • What plans are there to scale up and train more specialist music teachers, and what support will be given to non-specialist music teachers? During their one-year initial training, they currently receive little more than a couple of hours focused on music. This is totally unacceptable.

Viscount Stansgate (Lab)

  • The Government themselves say that, as a result, they expect to see “a reduced number of Hub lead organisations establishing partnerships across wider geographical areas.” I worry that that is a recipe for dismantling local authority expertise and might move music services further away from the local education authority routes. I hope that it is not because of any ideological aversion to local authority provision. The mechanics of the new processes are untried, untested and could see years of experience in music-making dismantled.
  • There is a feeling that it (money for instruments) might go to schools directly—I wonder whether the Minister could comment on that—but, generally, schools do not know how to maintain, log, track and quality-assure instruments. Surely this responsibility should go to hubs.

Lord Black (Con)

  • We are all aware of the need to do everything we can to drive sustainable economic growth in the UK, and the music industry is one of the most reliable ways to do that, providing £5.8 billion in GVA before the pandemic and employing 200,000 people—more than the steel and fisheries industries combined, according to UK Music.

Baroness Bull (Cross bencher)

  • As things stand, music hubs can be held to account for failing to deliver but schools cannot, so can the Minister say how the Government intend to hold schools accountable and what role the music education board will have in this?

Baroness Fraser (Con)

  • Third sector organisations cannot fill all the gaps in provision and cannot continue to provide partnership support without sustainable funding.

Lord Parkinson (Con, DCMS)

  • As part of the refreshed plan, the Government will continue to invest £79 million per annum in our national network of music hubs,
  • We want to see all schools provide timetabled curriculum music of at least one hour a week of the school year for key stages 1 to 3,
  • Once a teacher is qualified and working in schools, music hubs have a vital role to drive specialist music education continuing professional development


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