The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has announced a new partnership with the Musician’s Union (MU) to help promote music education in schools.
Both of the unions are looking to take a stance against the local and national cuts being made to music services across the UK.
The partnership follows the publication of the recent Henley Review into Music Education in England and comments made by education minister Michael Gove which highlighted the importance of the subject to a child’s development.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said that she welcomed the opportunity to work alongside the MU to ensure that music services in schools are protected.
Ms Blower lamented the fact that divisions existed between children from different economic backgrounds and called for the subject to be a requirement in schools.
“It is essential that music becomes part of the National Curriculum. It is only through timetabled music lessons that a minimum entitlement with sufficient resources and teacher expertise can be guaranteed,” she added.
However, despite the endorsements of senior ministers and the results of the review, music services are being hit by reductions to local council budgets.
The two bodies explained that while the music budget had been frozen for next year it does not ‘protect’ services. High inflation means that providers will be faced with a real-term cut, further compounded by the possibility of councils losing a proportion of their music budgets.
Speaking in support of the NUT and MU new partnership, Crispin Woodhead of Music Teachers UK said: “Musicians who teach make such a colossal and varied impact on the cultural life of the nation that their contribution is all too easy to underestimate.
“The threat of cutback looms heavily over the arts and so it has never been more important that this key professional group has the most powerful and eloquent voice to defend, support and promote the work that it does.”
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