HC Deb 06 January 2004 vol 416 cc293-4W
Miss Kirkbride

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the average school budget is for musical instruments in each local education authority in England; [145463]

(2) how many children in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools do not have access to music lessons in school outside the National Curriculum; [145473]

(3) what progress the Government have made in extending music opportunities in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools since 1997; [145474]

(4) how many children in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools do not have access to a musical instrument. [145476]

Mr. Miliband

[holding answer 5 January 2004 ]: The Government do not determine how much each school or LEA spends on musical instruments, nor do we collect information on how many children have access to a musical instrument.

Since 1999, every local education authority has received Music Standards Fund (MSF) which can be spent in any way that enhances opportunities for pupils to access musical education of high quality. In the vast majority of authorities, this will include specialist instrumental tuition outside of the National Curriculum. According to a recent Survey of LEA Music Services1 commissioned by DfES, at any moment in time, on average 8 per cent. of pupils will be receiving regular instrumental lessons through their LEA, although many more will be learning music in the classroom or in their own time.

The introduction of MSF in 1999 to protect and expand LEA Music Services has caused a major upturn in music provision. Between 1999 and 2004, some £270 million will have gone to LEA Music Services.

In addition, we have pledged that, over time, all primary school pupils who want to should have an opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Ofsted are currently evaluating 12 pilots which aim to model how specialist instrumental tuition can be integrated with classroom music teaching. The results of the evaluation will be published later this year. 1Research Report No. 478, 30 October 2003. Survey of Local Education Authorities' Music Services. 2002. Sue Hallam and Lynne Rogers, Institute of Education, University of London.