Today’s news review looks at the £300 million we are investing to help children from all backgrounds enjoy the benefits of music and the arts, as well as a new survey from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) on teacher recruitment.
Music and arts investment
Today, Friday 18 November, we announced a new multi-million pound investment in music and arts education.
Over the next four years we will provide £300 million to a network of 121 music education hubs to work with schools, local authorities and community organisations to get more young people involved in music and arts. These hubs help hundreds of thousands of five to 18-year-olds each year take part in activities like playing an instrument, singing in a choir or joining a band.
The funding will focus particularly on children who may not otherwise have access to music and cultural education, including those in the six recently announced opportunity areas.
Today’s announcement has been broadly welcomed by those from the industry, including Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the Arts Council and the Musicians Union.
Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb was interviewed this morning on the BBC Today programme. The news was also reported on BBC Online, PA and MailOnline.
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 4 years so that those opportunities are open to all, not just the privileged few.
NAHT survey on teacher recruitment
Today, 18 November, the NAHT released its third annual survey on teacher recruitment, based on responses from 1,094 school leaders. It found that 79% of teaching posts were difficult to recruit for, with the main concern being the number of teachers leaving the profession.
The story has been covered in TES, Schools Week and the Birmingham Mail.
We understand the importance of getting the best and the brightest into teaching and are investing more than £1.3 billion over this Parliament to make that happen. It is critical to note that there are actually more teachers entering than leaving the classroom. The average salaries for teachers in the UK are greater than the OECD average, as well as many of Europe’s high-performing education systems such as Finland, Norway and Sweden.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The Government is investing more than £1.3 billion over this parliament to attract the brightest and best into teaching. There are more people entering the profession than leaving it but we recognise that in a competitive economy some schools can face recruitment challenges.
We are also working with the sector to tackle issues that teachers tell us are most likely to lead to them consider leaving, such as unnecessary workload and poor pupil behaviour.
Read more here about today’s music and arts funding announcement, including how it will benefit children in the six recently announced opportunity areas.