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ISM welcomes National Plan for Music Education in Wales

The Welsh National Plan for Music Education was released on 17 May. 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

The ISM welcomes the measures in the plan, which has been described by Deborah Keyser, former ISM 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 a meaningful step towards ensuring equality of opportunity, and the ISM also welcomes 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.

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