Music: Private Tutors

Department for Education written question – answered at on 11 September 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to introduce free one-on-one musical tuition to students in full-time education from low-income families.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government is committed to all pupils receiving a broad and ambitious music curriculum. As set out in the National Plan for Music Education published in 2022, the Department expects schools to teach at least one hour of music lessons per week from September 2023 for 5 to 14-year-olds. The Department also published the non-statutory Model Music Curriculum in 2021, setting world class standards for music teaching for Key Stages 1 to 3.

The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007 already make clear that charging may not be made if the teaching is either an essential part of the National Curriculum, or is provided under the first access to Key Stage 2 vocal or instrument tuition. These also make clear that no charge may be made in respect of a pupil who is looked after by a Local Authority. Charges may be made for vocal or instrumental tuition provided either individually, or to groups of any size, as long as the tuition is provided at the request of the pupil’s parent. Charges may not exceed the cost of the provision, including the cost of the staff who provide the tuition.

As part of the reforms set out in the National Plan, the Department wants all children and young people to learn to sing, play an instrument, create music together and have the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents. As part of achieving this vision, the Department is working with Arts Council England to take forward significant reforms to the national network of Music Hubs, supported by £79 million per annum funding for the Music Hubs programme and £25 million capital for new instruments from 2024. This includes ensuring all schools and Music Hubs have local plans in place to support progression in singing and playing an instrument, including improving access to pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium.

The Department is also planning to invest £2 million to support the delivery of a Music Progression Fund programme over four years. The programme will support up to 1,000 disadvantaged pupils to learn how to play an instrument or learn how to sing to a high standard over a sustained period. Pupils eligible for the programme will not be charged to participate and will receive small group and/or individual support.

The programme will primarily be delivered in up to six Education Investment Areas across the country, taking into account the differing needs of pupils in each of the areas. The Department is currently considering grant applications to deliver the programme and more details will be published in due course.

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