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MU Expresses Concern as Newham Council Seeks to Cancel Music Education Scheme

Concerns have been raised by the Musicians’ Union (MU) over a consultation launched by the London Borough of Newham Council, which seeks to scrap its ‘Every Child a Musician’ programme.

Concerns have been raised by the Musicians’ Union (MU) over a consultation launched by the London Borough of Newham Council, which seeks to scrap its ‘Every Child a Musician’ programme.

The programme, launched in 2010, recognised that children and young people from poorer backgrounds in Newham were unable to afford music tuition lessons.

The previous mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, acknowledged in 2010 that there was a growing inequality between children from wealthier families who were fortunate enough to be able to access private music tuition and those from less privileged backgrounds who were less able to do so.

Sir Robin said at the time “The middle classes do it for their kids. Why shouldn't we do it for all our kids? Music should be about access for all — not only those who can afford it.”

Responding to news of the consultation, Horace Trubridge, General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said:

“Newham Council claims its aspiration is that every child and young person in the Borough should have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents, to achieve personal growth and excellence, plus have access to a rich variety of cultural and creative experiences.

“Yet there seems to be a political willingness to scrap a programme that is designed to do the very thing the Council claims it wants to support.”

Horace continued: “The real losers in this scenario are the very people that Newham Council claim they want to help - namely the kids from poorer backgrounds. We are calling on Mayor Fiaz and Newham Council to immediately reconsider the scrapping of this key programme.”

Read the consultation on the Newham website.


Published: 17/01/2019
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