Thousands of children could lose access to music education within weeks, Labour has warned.
Music Education Hubs support schools and local authorities to provide music education to thousands of children across England, with over 1.2 million children engaged in music education through a hub in 2017/18.
But weeks to go until the beginning of the new financial year thousands of providers are facing financial uncertainty.
The Government declined to comment on the funding, beyond saying they would update “in due course”.
In December 2020, Schools Minister Nick Gibb wrote to the UK Association for Music Education, Music Mark, stating the Government’s “continued support for music education” and that: “partner organisations will soon be updated on funding for the 2021-22 financial year.”
But just days before the beginning of the new financial year this funding is still unconfirmed.
Providers are warning they will be forced to end their agreements with schools if this funding, which accounted for 40% of hubs’ income in 2017/18, is not provided this year.
Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens, said: “Music will play such an important role in our recovery from Covid. From the individual skills of playing an instrument, to singing and playing together in an orchestra or ensemble and the many other ways of creating music together.
“The Tories don’t understand the power and impact of music and the doors that proper education opens. We believe people from every background should have access to the opportunities music brings.”
And Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said: “Once again the Government’s promises to children are ringing hollow. As Ministers have proclaimed their support for children’s wellbeing, their lack of action is putting music education at risk.
“It is entirely unreasonable for Ministers to expect any organisation to operate effectively with less than three weeks notice of their annual funding.
“Gavin Williamson must deliver on his Government’s promise and urgently set out funding music education next year.”