The present state of Music Education in the UK

Music Education is going through an extended period of major change. Funding mechanisms for providing instrumental and vocal tuition within schools have  become centred on Music Hubs. At the core of most Hubs lie Music Services which have been the dominant providers of this tuition in many areas since the 1970s.

At the same time schools have been encouraged to become Academies and Free Schools are being started in many areas. There has been endless media coverage of the kind of pressures that schools and their staff now face which has arguably led to less partnership working across pyramids of schools. The pursuit of results forces many schools to resist a wider view of musical opportunities for young people as they seek to ensure compliance with what is required by Ofsted and other regulatory bodies.

Around 2010 many local authorities began to see that County Council run Music Services were financially unsustainable and a process of restructuring was begun by many. This has culminated in government now instructing local authorities to cease funding for Music Services during 2014. Hubs themselves are now the direct recipients of any funding but this was itself reduced between 2011 and 2014 from over £80 million to close to £50 million. The dream of providing a universal instrumental learning opportunity for all primary school pupils has begun to suffer serious financial issues as Hubs are forced to raise a charge to schools.