From education to employment

Committee to question Schools Minister on changes to Music Hubs

Mr Robin Walker

The Education Committee will hold a one-off evidence session investigating issues facing Music Hubs, which are groups of organisations responsible for facilitating music education in local areas. 

During the session, MPs will hear from the Minister for Schools, Damian Hinds, and experts from within the music education sector, on the Government’s decision to reduce the number of Music Hubs in England, and how this will impact music education.  

This decision, part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) Music Hubs Investment Programme, would decrease the number of Hubs from 116 to just 43 – a 63% reduction. Hubs will instead be spread across a wider geographic area, which the DfE argues will improve the consistency of music education.  

In the first panel, the cross-party Committee will hear from representatives of organisations running Music Hubs. Questions are likely to explore views on the upcoming changes, their impact on the delivery of music education and the adequacy of funding to reach the DfE’s expectations.  

Members will then hear from a panel of national music organisations  about the sector’s response to the Investment Programme and the DfE’s wider plan for music education. Music Hub finances could also be discussed, including the impact of changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.  

In the final panel, MPs will question Minister Hinds, alongside the Director for Curriculum and Qualifications at the DfE. The Committee is likely to interrogate the Department’s rationale for the reduction of Music Hubs, the Investment Programme’s consultation and selection process and the sector’s concerns about financial difficulties Music Hubs face.  

Witnesses from 10.00am: 

  • John de la Cour, Chair of Board of Trustees, Severn Arts
  • Andrew Lane, Managing Director, Dynamics Medway
  • Carolyn Baxendale, Head of Bolton Music Services
  • Michael Summers, Manager of Music Education, Durham Music Service

Witnesses from 10.40am: 

  • Bridget Whyte, Chief Executive, Music Mark
  • Stuart Darke, Director of Legal Services, Independent Society of Musicians
  • Chris Walters, National Organiser, Education, Health & Wellbeing, Musicians’ Union

Witnesses from 11.20am: 

  • Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Minister of State for Schools
  • Jenny Oldroyd, Director for Curriculum and Qualifications, Department for Education 

Photo credit: Official portrait of Mr Robin Walker, adapted for use on FE News. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via UK Parliament.

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