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Every Child Programme Consultation

The Mayor’s aspiration is that every child and young person in Newham should experience the richness of Newham’s cultural offer as part of a new borough-wide cultural strategy that will be developed. 

Each young person should have the opportunity to discover and develop their individual talents, to achieve excellence and to have fun doing so. 

We will work with children and young people themselves to develop a creative and cultural enrichment programme that will improve their personal and social development and support them later in life. Music education - in school and beyond - remains part of this vision.

What is the Every Child Programme? 

The Every Child programme was established in 2010 to provide opportunities to complement and support schools’ core curriculum and intellectual development and give children in Newham access to wider cultural and educational opportunities. 

It has four elements:

Every Child a Musician

The Every Child a Musician Programme (ECaM) provides free musical provision in Newham’s primary schools. The scheme began in 2010. Years 3 and 4 are taught as a whole class and Years 5 and 6 receive small group tuition (approximately 5 children per group). The Programme provides free musical instruments to every child in year 5 and 6.  Should the pupils continue with music tuition into year 6, they are gifted the instrument.  

It reaches a total of around 12,500 children per year across the large majority of Newham’s primary schools. 

2019/20 budget: £2,123,000

Every Child a Theatre Goer

The Every Child a Theatre Goer programme provides opportunities for young people in year 6 and in secondary schools to attend theatre productions free of charge.
  • ​​Year 6 primary school children are offered a production at Stratford Circus theatre. 
  • Newham’s secondary school students have been offered tickets to see productions at the Barbican Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and National Theatre
In 2017/18 around 16,000 children attended theatre performances.

2019/20 budget: £134,000

Every Child a Sports Person

The Every Child a Sports Person programme offers the opportunity to try 20 different sports activities as taster sessions targeted at year 7 in 18 of Newham’s secondary schools.

The offer includes annual sports festival days and weekly sports clubs in participating secondary schools. The programme supports young people to participate in sports which are not part of schools’ core curriculum including BMX, judo, fencing, handball, girls’ football and Zumba. 

In 2017/18 4,000 young people participated in the sports festival days and weekly sports clubs.

2019/20 budget: £70,000

Every Child a Chess Player

The Every Child a Chess Player programme aims to give children in Newham in years 2 to 5 the opportunity to learn chess. It is jointly funded by Newham Council and Chess in Schools and Communities, a national charity.

The programme includes: breakfast or after school chess clubs in 20 Newham primary schools, which are taught on a weekly basis by specialist chess tutors. Children can also enter into County Teams and play in national tournaments.

In 2017/18 1,700 children were taught on a weekly basis. 

2019/20 budget: £25,000 Council funding, plus funding from Chess in Schools and Communities.


What is the Council’s Challenge?

The Mayor’s aspiration is for every child and young person in Newham to have the opportunity to discover and develop their individual talents, to achieve excellence and to have fun doing so.

At the same time, the Council has to find savings due to reductions in central government funding: 
  • ​In 2016/17, Newham received £172.7million from government – in 2019/20 that will fall to £145.8 million. This is a reduction of £26.9million. 
  • The Council has to find £14.5m savings in the next year 2019/20 to achieve a balanced budget, rising to £27m in savings by 2022. 
There are also increased local pressures for service such as children and adult social care. The Council has to think carefully and thoroughly how it spends its money on services and decide on its priorities. 

This is why the Council is consulting on the future of the Every Child Programme.

Below is an outline of the previously agreed Every Child programme annual budget for the next three years:
  • ​2018/19 - £2.5m 
  • 2019/20 - £2.35m
  • 2020/21 - £2.2m
Most of this funding is provided through a contract to a separate company Every Child (Achieving Their Potential) Limited – launched in 2018. Approximately 90% of this funding goes into providing Every Child a Musician. 

It is the Council’s view, that there is not sufficient evidence that the Every Child Programme is delivering the Mayor’s aspirations to enable children and young people in our borough to develop their own personal talents and is not delivering value for money. 

Research evidence and feedback from schools (including a working group) on the Every Child a Musician programme indicates that while it delivers some benefits, it is not achieving the best outcomes for children and costs over £2m a year.  


What is our proposal?

We wish to work with all Newham schools, children, young people and other partners to design a more relevant and up to date creative and cultural offer in Newham so that it:
  • ​Supports schools to provide a broader, high quality enrichment offer, including music education which meets the aims of the proposed new Ofsted inspection framework for schools
  • Provides opportunities for children to experience a variety of creative and cultural offers, including music, from the earliest years of education. This will be led by schools so that it fits in the best possible way into children’s learning and is not an add on
  • Supports sustained engagement by children and young people with music education through both school and youth provision, so that those who are passionate about music can continue practising into adulthood
  • Provides the best value for money, so limited resources are used most effectively in better achieving these aims.
The Council recognises that the Every Child programme contributes to some of these aims but believes that there are other more effective ways that could be introduced which will continue to support children and young people in a more affordable manner for this programme and the overall council budget. 

Council services are made up of statutory duties, which we legally have to provide, such as ensuring there are sufficient school places for every child in Newham, and discretionary services, which the Council is not required by law to provide but deliver additional benefits to our residents such as the Every Child programme. 

We need to ensure that we prioritise those discretionary programmes that bring the greatest benefit to Newham’s residents. The Every Child programme is a discretionary service, which is provided in addition to education provision in Newham, and is on top of the statutory provision of music education by schools.

The Council has to agree both a balanced and deliverable budget and in the current climate that includes having to make savings from services or increase charges.  

When seeking to achieve its savings, the Council needs to balance the priority placed on different services, especially its discretionary services. The Council aims to prioritise those programmes where we consider there is the strongest evidence of benefits to residents, such as the Eat for Free programme, which ensures that every primary school child in Newham is able to access a free lunch. 

Eat for Free is a discretionary service provided on top of the statutory free schools meals programme for those on low incomes:
  • ​The Eat for Free programme needs an additional £1.25m in 2019/20 and £1.3m in 2020/21 to continue the programme in its current form. This proposed additional funding is needed in order to reverse a budget reduction introduced in the 2017/18 Newham council budget and to help feed the growing numbers of eligible children.  
  • An evaluation of the Eat for Free programme conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and NatCen showed clear developmental gains for children and in particular the most deprived pupils as a result of a universal offer to all children.  

What evidence do we have about Every Child?

We have reviewed the evidence of the impact of Every Child a Musician (ECaM), which costs £9 in every £10 spent on the entire Every Child Programme.  

Previous research has highlighted that, although stakeholders were positive about their experiences and could highlight positive impacts it had at individual, school and family levels, there did not appear to be any link to wider educational achievement by our children. The Council does of course recognise the value of engagement in music in its own right.  

In the research, a comparison between instrumental learning and Key Stage 2 assessment data for Year 6 pupils found children’s academic achievements are not linked to their levels of instrumental learning. There was also no significant relationship observed between ECaM progress and children’s wider sense of happiness and wellbeing.

There are positives to Every Child a Musician but it is our view that the current design of the Programme does not fully meet our aims for music provision, as set out above.  It is for this reason, combined with the Council’s need to make savings and fund other priorities that we are consulting on the proposals in this document. 

The other three programmes represent a small proportion of the overall Every Child budget and do not all offer a universal service to every child in Newham.  We will consider with stakeholders how these programmes should be taken forward as part of a new service offer.  

We would like to hear your views on our aims and proposed model of delivery for the future of the Every Child Programme and your reasons for holding your views. You will also have the opportunity to tell us about any other ideas you have.


The Consultation Proposal

The Council’s proposal, subject to views which consultees express, is:
  • ​To cease the Every Child Programme and its funding in its current form from the school year starting September 2019. 

  • During the 2019/20 academic year, to commence an enhanced added value provision for young people including a commitment to music based on the Mayor’s vision for young people. This programme would be funded up to 50% of current levels.  We will focus on enhancing schools’ current enrichment programmes, including:
     - delivering a range of personal/social developmental, creative, cultural and sporting activities, including delivery during out of schools hours (during after schools/breakfast club and or lunch time) 
    -  giving schools flexibility of choosing from a menu of activities in-line with the need/desire of their pupils.

  • The Council commits to engaging with our partners, especially young people, on the design of the new provision.​
It is recognised that this proposal would lead to a reduction in the overall volume of music tuition funded by the Council. However, it would not affect the statutory music provision provided by schools, which requires music lessons to be delivered as part of the curriculum. If the funding for the Every Child a Musician service is ceased, this would put Newham in line with most other local authorities, where music lessons are delivered by schools.



The full implementation of the proposal would provide substantial savings of up to 50% of the total cost of the Every Child Programme, which would be a saving of up to £1,101,190 a year from the financial year April 2020 to April 2021.

​​Financial year ​Proposed savings
​2018/19 No change​
​2019/20 £686,000*​
​​2020/21 £1,101,190​
 *The proposed saving results from a 50% saving applied from September 2019 to March 2020 (a seven month period).  This is only a part year saving because the ECaM provision for the school year 2018/19 will continue to be funded.  


A full equalities impact assessment is being undertaken and will be presented to Cabinet with the final proposal following this consultation. 

What happens next?

Please let us know your views.
You can complete the questionnaire online here​ 
​You have until midnight on Sunday 20 January 2019 to respond.

Your personal data will be confidential and is used only so we can understand how different groups (e.g. parents, pupils, teachers) view the proposals and to inform our final proposals. For more details, please see below.

Once the consultation closes, responses will be analysed and the results will be provided to Cabinet with management comments. The Cabinet will make the final decision on 5 February 2019 taking into account the consultation responses.

Any changes to the service would start in September 2019.

If you have any questions or to request a paper copy of the questions, please contact Shah Islam by emailing or calling 020 3373 0267

Please let us know your views.

Data Protection

The information you provide will be protected by the Data Protection Act 2018, which ensures that the Council and its employees protect the confidentiality of data collected from individuals. We will only use the personal information you provide to deliver the services you have requested, or for our lawful, disclosed purposes. We will not make your personal details available outside our organisation without your consent, unless obliged by law. Please be aware that any comments given on this form may be published in the report. However, the Council will always remove any reference that could identify individuals or organisations.

For further information please refer to the Council's privacy notice which can be found on the Newham Website,  or email​

Further Information

The Every Child a Musician Project Evaluation undertaken in 2011-12 by the Institute of Education can be found on the ResearchGate website.​

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