The Welsh Assembly Government’s own Music Education Review was initiated last Autumn and due to report in March 2010, but it has yet to be published. It’s a shame, not only because it could have provided a useful warning for Darren Henley and Michael Gove.
Music education in Wales has suffered since 2005, from the end of the ring-fenced Music Development funding: since then, its been left to local authorities to decide how much of their funding goes to music education. If our local primary school is typical – and even if it isn’t – then music is shamefully way down the priority list. I ask my daughter hopefully each week if she’s taken part in any music at school – sung, played instruments, listened to music, made sounds with body parts (see ‘Wise Words‘), taken part in music during another topic/subject, but the answer’s always the same.
So, thank goodness there’s a review – and I’m really hopeful that it will pave the way for something incredible. The review has been carried out by a group which includes ‘practising teachers and representatives from a number of organisations concerned about music, including the Arts Council for Wales, the Welsh Local Government Association and Estyn’ and is chaired by Emyr Wynne Jones, music adviser for Carmarthenshire.
I understand that it is being considered by the Minister, and will be published, along with the Welsh Assembly Government’s response, but they haven’t given a date.