New sport and music opportunities have been announced to better support children’s development with a multi-million pound investment.
Across the country children will be supported to find and nurture their passions via new opportunities to study music and take up sports activities in thanks to a multi-million-pound investment into sports and music education in the UK.
Announced by the government on Saturday 25th June - building on the pledge written in the School's White Paper to give all children an enriching school curriculum, which should in turn help to level up their educational outcomes with new opportunities.
Thousands of pupils will be given access to learn musical instruments due to new capital funding worth £25 million which will allow schools across the UK to broker new musical equipment. It will also include adapted instruments for pupils with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) - which will enable every pupil to have equal opportunities in nurturing their love for music.
At least 1 hour of music curriculum per week will be asked of schools, in conjunction with the launch of a National Plan for Music Education. In studies, music has been shown to support children in development of creative skills - and also in overall cognitive development. This is why a further £79 million has also been made available for every single year until 2025 for the Music Hubs programme.
Additional opportunities have been drafted for pupils to stay healthy and get active - which will be made available via the PE and Sports Premium. The government will be providing £320 million to schools in 2022 and 2023 in order to give more students an option of high quality PE lessons and sporting opportunities. It is thought that this will help support both physical and mental wellbeing.
Another £11 million will also be provided to support the School Games programme, which gives young passionate and talented students the equal opportunity to compete in sport.
The UK's Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi said:
I want every child to have the opportunity to develop a love of music and sport, so they can explore their passions and fulfil their potential. That’s why I’m thrilled that we’re updating our National Plan for Music Education, as well as providing students with around 200,000 new musical instruments.
The PE and Sport Premium will continue to support schools and I hope that upcoming events like the Women’s Euros and Commonwealth Games will inspire more young people to get active.
These opportunities will give thousands more pupils access to an ambitious, enriching curriculum that not only supports them academically, but also supports their physical and mental wellbeing.
The UK's Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:
Every young person has the potential to succeed, whether they are destined to be the next Sam Ryder, Leah Williamson or simply inspired to have a lifelong love of music and sport.
We want to make sure every child, regardless of where they grow up or where they go to school, has the tools they need to achieve their ambitions.
Every school will be expected to have a designated music lead or head of department - as part of the updated guidance in the National Plan for Music Education.
This same plan also sets out the goal for every pupil to have at least 1 hour per week of high quality music education throughout Key Stages 1 to 3. In addition to this, it will also provide teachers and young people with information on how to progress a career in music.
Additional initiatives in the National Plan for Music Education outline the continued development of music and instrument teaching - which includes a pilot to increase music progression in disadvantaged areas, and the introduction of an inclusion strategy in every 'music hub area' so that all young people can benefit equally from high quality music education.
The Chief Executive of UK Music, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:
Music is a national asset that contributes billions to the economy, improves our health and wellbeing and boosts our global reputation – and that all relies on a strong talent pipeline. A thorough musical education also brings huge benefits to children, whatever they go on to do in later life, and it is in our national interest to have a musically literate society. The new National Plan for Music Education, and commitment of capital investment is very welcome. Music can transform lives – so it is vital that music education does not become the preserve of a privileged few and is available to everyone, regardless of their background. Continued investment in music education is vital if we want to unlock the huge creative potential of young people and level up opportunities across the country.
The Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, Geoff Taylor, said:
We welcome government’s renewed focus on music education, which will support the future of the UK’s world-leading music sector. We know from our experience with The BRIT School that music can play an essential role in developing young people’s creativity, teaching them vital skills and, crucially, promoting wellbeing. We are therefore delighted to see new investment to provide instruments and music equipment to schools. Our industry will continue to support a wide range of education programmes to ensure that skills learnt in the classroom can help young people thrive in our diverse and growing sector. We will look closely at the detail of the plan and work collaboratively with government and education partners to maximise its impact.
The CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, Ali Oliver MBE, said:
At the end of a really successful National School Sport Week, we welcome confirmation of this funding for primary schools across England, it is urgently needed, and we know schools will be relieved to be able to confirm arrangements for September. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those working in and with schools who have maintained momentum, keeping children active and schools moving.
Unhappy and unhealthy children don’t learn, if children don’t learn we won’t have a society fit for the future. The Youth Sport Trust is working to build back play, physical activity, and school sport in children’s lives, helping them to balance the demands of a digital age, and create societal change when it comes to the place and value of PE and school sport. Today’s announcement is a positive first step toward this.
To support the government's commitment of ensuring all children and young people have access to at least 60 minutes (or 20 minutes of disabled children) or physical activity, per day - the PE and Sport Premium and School Games programme have had an additional £10 million of funding provided in order to open up swimming and sports facilities.
The Minister for Public Health, Maggie Throup said:
Levelling up the nation’s health, tackling disparities and giving every child the healthiest start in life – no matter where they’re from – is a top priority for government.
This major investment means children will have access to more high quality PE lessons and opportunities to try different sports.
Being physically active in childhood is vital to long-term health and wellbeing, and this funding will help children enjoy leading more physical lives.
It has been estimated that £25 million will enable children to have access to approximately 200,000 new instruments on the assumption that 1 musical instrument is £100. This would build on existing stock of musical instruments and equipment.