Well, there are certainly reasons to be cheerful – having a Plan at all is a very good thing. That it took so long to take Darren Henley’s January recommendations and generate these 55 pages suggests to me that making the Plan wasn’t easy, and we all need to bear that in mind as we start to pick it over. Interesting to note that this wasn’t the only Plan announced by Government last Friday – there was also Nick Cleggs’ £1 billion strategy aimed at reducing youth unemployment via apprenticeships. Whatever you may think about the causes of youth unemployment, this response isn’t foolish, addressing as it does both skills training and first access to the jobs market. Setting the two initiatives side by side is instructive – the NPME does seem to sit a little away from the core debates about education, training and employment, with its detailed focus on facilitating the more sublime aspects and outcomes of music making …
The National Music Plan has been a long time coming and was finally published this morning. It was greeted by a flurry of interested Twitter followers and a range of responses from the sector. This post gives you a summary of the headlines and the initial reaction from our partners. We will be publishing further thoughts and analysis from our members over the next few days.
Policy and Practice Round-Up
This week we bring you news of the Cultural Learning Alliance campaign to highlight the importance of cultural learning in schools; cuts to initial teacher training allocations; a drop in UCAS applications for arts courses; education funding figures from the Institute of Fiscal Studies; Youth Music’s new funding programme and network; news of one particularly inspirational teacher, and some new evaluations and evidence.
Arts Council’s strategic plan for 2011-15 re-affirms that ACE itself is facing the 50% cut to administration costs that was announced in the comprehensive spending review last year. We join ACE in its grave concerns that it will be unable to deliver its strategic goals with this planned reduction to capacity and expertise.
All things Henley
In September the CLA submitted a set of recommendations to the Henley Review of Cultural Education which set out some of the key things that we think the government can do to support cultural learning. These are practical, low-cost suggestions which we think will make a real difference to our sector.