When published in 2011, the National Plan for Music Education (NPME) was revolutionary – no other art form has a national plan, and none of the other nations of the UK have one (it is England only).
It runs until this year and the Department for Education (DfE) is currently consulting on a ‘refresh’. This is not a new version, and many of the questions are closed, i.e. wide debate is not encouraged: DfE is hoping to tick the ‘consultation done’ box without engaging in too much searching reflection.
Nonetheless, please respond to the consultation, if for no other reason than to make it clear to policymakers how much music and music education matter to everyone in the UK.
... many of our members tell us time and again, having experienced the joy of lifelong musical involvement themselves, that they worry the next generation may not have the same opportunities.
The original plan covers young people aged 5-18; there is a consensus in the music education sector that birth to 25 would be more appropriate. We would argue, of course, that it should go birth to 99 – and maybe we’ll get there with the next version in 2030.
But meanwhile we should all still care about this plan and the young people it covers: many of our members tell us time and again, having experienced the joy of lifelong musical involvement themselves, that they worry the next generation may not have the same opportunities without access to music education at an early age.
And that access seems increasingly patchy, despite the introduction of music education hubs since 2012, and is most definitely not inclusive of all young people. Improvements, therefore, can surely be put forward, even within the limits of this consultation.
The deadline for submission is Friday 13 March; you can complete the online questionnaire or submit a document via email (which potentially gives you more freedom to comment). If you do the online questionnaire, we suggest you use any comment box to the maximum, in order to get the points across which concern you and which may not otherwise naturally arise from the very specific questions.