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Newham Council to support the arts in all schools to the tune of £1.1m

4 September 2019 in Education
With pupils returning to their classrooms for the start of a new academic year Newham Council is unveiling its new pilot cultural offer for all school children.
​While music will remain central to the offer (accounting for £700,000 of the £1.1m) the aim of the “Enrichment Programme” is to deliver a much broader, more diverse and vibrant programme of learning and creativity.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz has set an aspiration that every child and young person in the borough will benefit from a new “Enrichment Programme” which replaces the old Every Child programme. Crucially the new scheme is expanded to cover all schools from nursery to secondary schools, where the previous music programme covered only primary aged children.

In July 2019 the council launched the first round of School Music Grants which saw 47 Newham Schools (nursery, primary and secondary) apply and submit applications for funding. A further 25 schools submitted expressions of interest in applying for funding in round 2 (September 2019).

As a result: 
  • schools will increase their own investment in music and work together to develop programmes 
  • there will be more opportunities for children to perform in choirs and orchestras
  • the range of musical instruments and learning available to children will be broadened and less prescriptive
  • there will be increased partnerships with world class music and arts organisations.
The first year of the scheme will be subject to external monitoring to which will measure the impact of the programme and feed into a cabinet report in Spring 2020, which will be used to inform the offer from 2020 onwards

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “It is an exciting time culturally in Newham and I want to work with both existing partners like Newham Music Trust and Stratford Circus, and some of the world’s leading arts and cultural institutions who are moving to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to ensure our young people can reap the benefits.”

The programme has been designed by the council in close consultation with teachers, pupils, parents and experts, to strengthen relationships with, and between the schools, and to deliver a programme that is fit for purpose and backed by the teachers and children themselves.

Ben Levinson head teacher at Kensington Primary School said: “At Kensington we are launching a trail blazing curriculum to transform primary education for our children; this includes our music provision. We will use the money to fund tuition from our Every Child a Musician (ECaM) tutors; provide additional opportunities for our children with special needs (SEND) and continue to raise the quality and quantity of singing for all children.”

Cecilia Mojzes, Head at Essex Primary School, which includes an autism unit said: “At Essex we have music at the heart of our curriculum. Being part of the Schools Enrichment Programme will enable the school to continue to develop the provision of music in the early Years Foundation Stage as we believe music helps improve our pupil’s language and communication skills as well as early reading skills.”

Rachel McGowan, Head at Plashet School said: “Plashet School are delighted to have been awarded funds to bring our vision for musical enrichment to life. Developing as a musician expands the brain in ways nothing else does and the act of performing and writing music, as well as listening to it, can have a hugely positive effect on health and well-being.” 

In addition to music the programme will also include elements from the former ECaM programme including chess, and theatre tickets for school children.

Councillor Julianne Marriott, cabinet member for education said: “We had a fantastic range of proposals from our schools to embed culture and creativity into the school day. I was really excited to see schools working together and producing programmes putting our youngest children and those with SEND at the heart of their schemes. It was also great to see schools focusing on group music making and opportunities to perform.”