To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to reduce the number of music education hubs; and if she will make a statement.
In June 2022, the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published the National Plan for Music Education, setting out a commitment to high quality music education for all children and young people.
As part of the Plan, the Department announced its intention to work in partnership with Arts Council England to re-compete the role of Music Hub lead organisations and see a reduced number of lead organisations establishing partnerships across wider geographical areas. The Department wants lead organisations to become more strategic, building a wider range of strong partnerships with schools, academy trusts, Local Authorities and others for children and young people to receive high-quality support in every local area, including those where provision may currently be limited.
Working in partnership with the Department, Arts Council England undertook a two stage consultation at the beginning of the year to inform the competition and reform of the geography of the Music Hub network. The findings of the consultation were announced, as well as the change from 117 to 43 lead organisations. Arts Council England subsequently launched the Music Hub Investment Programme to compete the role of lead organisations, with newly completed organisations starting in September 2024. This is a significant reform that should result in more partnerships at a local level working with each Music Hub lead organisation, to support schools, children and young people to improve quality and access to high quality music education.