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Arts Council England to create music education hubs

  • Date: 25 November 2011
  • Area: National

Arts Council England has announced its new role as fund holder in establishing and monitoring a new national network of music education hubs in partnership with the Department for Education.

The hubs aim to realise the vision set out in The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education and ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to sing, learn an instrument and take part in an ensemble performance.

The Department for Education has asked Arts Council England to act as fund holder for the music education hubs, established across England through an open application process, and to select and monitor the hubs. The Department for Education has allocated £171m between 2012-15 for the hubs to deliver music education.

The role of hubs

Music education hubs will replace the existing music services model, they will be collections of organisations working together in a local area, to create joined up, high quality music education provision for children and young people, in and out of school.

Hubs will be expected to form strong partnerships with local authorities, schools, music organisations, practitioners and communities to provide quality music education across the whole country - while delivering better value for money and greater accountability.

The establishment of a network of hubs was a key recommendation of Darren Henley's Review of Music Education in England (2011), in order to create a joined-up approach that delivers excellent music education for children and young people across the country.

Arts Council England will also match Government funding of a further £500,000 per year to fund In Harmony, Sistema England from 2012-13. The programme will be expanded to enable more children from deprived backgrounds to benefit.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said:

'I know from personal experience just how much early opportunities to get involved in the arts can enrich a young person's life and help develop their potential. That's why I'm so pleased to apply the Arts Council's skill and judgement to the establishment of music education hubs, which will play a key role in ensuring that every child in this country has the chance to experience the richness of music.

'There are some exceptional music services, but there are also areas of England that have significantly less music education provision than others and this needs to be addressed. I look forward to working with the Department for Education to deliver this important work.'


Applications open 25 November. The closing date is 17 February 2012 and successful applicants will be announced in late April. Music education hubs will be in place in September 2012.

You can find out more information about hubs, including the full prospectus and application criteria on our dedicated music education hubs funding pages.