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Dear Secretary of State Gavin Williamson,
I am seriously concerned about your decision to cut funding for music and arts courses at the Higher Education (HE) level in England by 50 percent.
[Share why you believe arts subjects including music are essential, and how your arts education at a conservatoire, university or college has helped you]
According to the Musicians’ Union, the proposed 50% cut will have a catastrophic impact on music and the arts in the UK:
- It risks the financial viability of essential training that will produce the next generation of musicians and arts professionals.
- It could cause utter chaos as courses are withdrawn at the last minute, leaving students who have applied and been accepted onto courses starting in the autumn without the future they are currently working towards.
- It will affect all students, but particularly those from less privileged backgrounds who may rely on being able to access courses locally or through institutions that cannot divert funds from elsewhere to save their music and arts programmes at short notice.
- It pulls the rug out from under our creative industries, which are worth £102bn to the UK economy, and music, which is worth £5.8bn and supported close to 200,000 jobs in 2019.
The UK’s world-leading status in music and the arts is placed in serious jeopardy by these cuts.
The Musicians’ Union has also raised questions about the legitimacy of the public consultation on the proposed funding cuts. I object to such an important consultation being undertaken without fair notice given to students, lecturers, universities, employers, creative sector organisations, heritage sector organisations, and trade unions.
As Secretary of State for Education, I ask you to:
- Stop these proposed funding cuts immediately, at least until a legitimate consultation can take place.
- Provide a detailed response to the concerns in this email.