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NPME Wales launched

The Welsh National Plan for Music Education has been released.

Measures in the plan, which take effect in September, include:

  • Funding trebled, with £13.5m invested over the next three years
  • A review of music tutors’ terms and conditions
  • A ‘First Experiences’ programme to offer children in primary schools a minimum of half a term of musical instrument taster sessions
  • A ‘Making Music with Others’ initiative, including opportunities for children and young people in secondary schools to gain industry experience through working alongside musicians and creative industries
  • A new national instrument and equipment library to support access to a resource bank to be shared across Wales

On launching the plan First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

'The establishment of a National Music Service for Wales is an important commitment in our Programme for Government and I’m delighted that we are delivering on this pledge.

Learning an instrument was a formative part of my upbringing and a lack of money should not be a barrier to any young person who wants to learn to play music. We are fortunate in Wales to have a strong tradition of school, county and national ensembles, and we want to make sure that our children and young people are able to play a full part in these. This funding will support music services in schools and within the community to help nurture our young musical talent.'

The ISM welcomes the measures in the plan, which has been described by Deborah Keyser, ISM Past President and Director of Tŷ Cerdd Music Centre Wales, as 'a very positive ambition', and represents a huge opportunity to improve music education services across Wales. The additional funding is an meaningful step towards ensuring equality of opportunity, and we also welcome the decision to review music tutors' terms and conditions given the increasing insecurity for those working as peripatetic teachers. A system of accountability is essential to ensure the plan is implemented effectively and that there is a demonstrable legacy from initiatives such as the 'First Experiences' programme. Overall, however, the plan provides much-needed support for music in Welsh schools.

We would love to hear what you think of the plan if you work in music education, particularly if you work in Wales.

You can share your thoughts with us by emailing [email protected].