Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles has announced £6.82m to provide additional music resources to schools, including instruments. The announcement supports the Welsh Government’s commitment to set up a National Music Service.
The Welsh Government has pledged to distribute musical instruments to learners who are less likely to have access to them, such as those eligible for free school meals, in the first instance.
An additional £3m has also been announced to extend the Welsh Government’s Creative Learning through the Arts (CLTA) programme for a further three years, which the Arts Council for Wales will match-fund, raising the sum to £6m.
The CLTA programme was initially planned to run from 2015 until 2020, and uses the arts to teach non-arts subjects like literacy rather than supporting arts education for its own sake.
We will continue to engage with the Welsh Government on how this will be rolled out
Chris Walters, the MU’s National Organiser for Education, commented: “These funding pledges should be good news for music education in Wales, and it is good see the Welsh Government investing in instrumental teaching as well as building teachers’ confidence around the arts more broadly through the CLTA.
“We now need more clarity on what instruments and resources will be purchased and how they will be distributed; what educational approach is planned for the pupils receiving them; and how teachers will be engaged.
“We understand that these issues will feed into the development of Wales’s new National Music Service, and we will continue to engage with the Welsh Government on details of how this will be planned, funded and rolled out.”
It is a busy time for music education policy around the UK with changes happening in England and Scotland as well as in Wales. Members can contact us to discuss any concerns by getting in touch with their regional office or emailing education@theMU.org.