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School music service bid succeeds

Herefordshire Council’s music service has succeeded in a bid to become a music education hub, which will bring much needed cash to the service and secure its future for the next two and a half years.

The way music services are funded across the country is changing.  Previously the Department for Education provided grants to local authorities for music services, but this has been replaced by a bidding system where local authority-run music services work in partnership with other music services providers to develop a music hub in their area.  The aim of these hubs is to provide good quality, value for money music services to as many children and young people as possible.

Last year, to prepare for changes in funding, to deal with a deficit and to make the system a fairer one, the council set up an accredited teacher scheme, allowing schools and parents to manage instrument tuition for individuals directly. 

The music service now manages a list of accredited teachers and also runs orchestras and bands services plus whole class tuition in primary schools.  To be able to continue providing this, the service had to bid for funding from the Arts Council in February this year.  Herefordshire Council has just learned that the bid was successful and will bring a grant of nearly £600,000 to the county.

Cliff Woollard, head of Herefordshire Council’s Music Service, said: “This is great news for the music service and for the 3,000 children and young people who use our services every year. 

“This new type of funding will help us continue the work we are doing across the county and to further develop our whole class primary teaching opportunities.  It will also ensure that our prestigious county bands and orchestras continue to flourish.”