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New musical and arts education funding announced

23/11/2016 Joanna

The government has announced a new multimillion-pound investment in music and arts education designed to provide increased access to opportunities for pupils across the country.

More than £300 million is to be spent over the next four years to help a network of 121 music education hubs to work with schools, local authorities and community organisations to encourage more young people to take part in music and arts.

Specific efforts will be made by the Department for Education to ensure this funding particularly benefits children in West Somerset, Norwich, Blackpool, Scarborough, Derby and Oldham, the six recently-announced opportunity areas identified as the most challenged when it comes to social mobility.

Music hubs help hundreds of thousands of five to 18-year-olds each year access activities like playing an instrument, singing in a choir or joining a band, enriching their overall educational experience.

Meanwhile, it was announced that a further six cultural education programmes covering heritage, dance, art and design, film and museums will share a further £4.1 million a year until 2018.

This funding will cover Heritage Schools, a programme run by Historic England that helps schoolchildren develop an understanding of their local heritage. The scheme will expand into the designated opportunity area of Blackpool next year.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: "Music and the arts can transform lives and introduce young people to a huge range of opportunities - whether that is learning to play a musical instrument, understanding local heritage or attending a world-famous dance school.

"We're investing more than £300 million over the next four years so that those opportunities are open to all, not just the privileged few."

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