After the 2010 General Election, the new Lib-Dem/Conservative coalition Government requested an independent review into music education in the UK. Completed by Darren Henley and published February 2011, the Henley Review led to the creation of the National Plan for Music Education in November 2011. The NPME affects the music education of 5-18 year olds in England and Wales.
The plan led to the creation of 122 Music Hubs, each with the responsibility to deliver 4 core roles in their area:
- Ensure that every child aged 5 to 18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole-class ensemble teaching programmes for ideally a year (but for a minimum of a term) of weekly tuition on the same instrument
- Provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage
- Ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people
- Develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area
and three extension roles, should these four initial roles be met:
- Offer continuing professional development to school staff, particularly in supporting schools to deliver music in the curriculum
- Provide an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes
- Provide access to large-scale and/or high-quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and/or venues. This may include undertaking work to publicise the opportunities available to schools, parents/carers and students
These Hubs are Government-led partnerships of organisations including state schools, companies, charities and practitioners, working to deliver these roles and improve music education. It is the responsibility of every Hub to distribute funding among organisations to ensure that these four targets are met. The Hub system came into effect at the beginning of academic year 2012-13.
Jackdaws are a lead partner in Sound Foundation Somerset and worked with over 5,000 Somerset school children in 2013, supported by the Hub.