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NPME: National Plan for Music Education

What is in the new plan for England, and how can you implement it?

The refreshed National Plan for Music Education, The power of music to change lives, has been released.

As a subject association for music, the ISM has produced a number of resources related to the refreshed plan, which we hope will be useful to all working in the music education sector.

On this page you will find in-depth analysis of the plan, as well as free resources to assist in the delivery of outstanding music education in schools.

'The plan states that music should be a key part of the school curriculum, which is something that we are very pleased with.'

Deborah Annetts, ISM CEO

There is much in The power of music to change lives that the ISM welcomes, and if implemented, it will improve the music education students in England receive.

The ISM is known for its research and publications. Earlier this year, we published Music: A subject in peril? written by ISM Research Associate Dr Jodie Underhill. It reported findings from a survey in which over 500 music teachers participated.

The report made a number of recommendations on how to improve music education, and what teachers wanted to see within The power of music to change lives. The ISM has produced a comparison page to investigate whether the new national plan meets these recommendations or not.

Key announcements in the plan include:

    • Key Stages 1-3 should have at least one hour per week of 'high quality' curriculum music
    • Tens of thousands of pupils will be given the chance to learn a musical instrument, with new funding worth £25 million for schools to purchase musical instruments and equipment available.
    • £79 million made available every year until 2025 for the Music Hubs programme
    • Every school will be expected to have a designated music lead or head of department
    • Every school should write and publish a 'Music Development Plan', including information on how music is staffed and funded

    ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said of the plan, 'there looks to be much we can welcome and that our members will be pleased to see included within it.'

    The ISM is particularly glad to see the plan confirm that music should be a key part of the curriculum, which is something we have been campaigning on for many years.

    Free curriculum resources: Primary & KS3

    Download our National Curriculum for Music (primary and Key Stage 3) frameworks for free. These are complete with wall-charts, to help you develop your curriculum, pedagogies and assessment.

    Free music self-evaluation tool for schools

    This self-evaluation tool is designed to be used by primary and secondary teachers, and school leaders, as they review their own provision, identify areas for development and celebrate excellent work.

    Free early years and primary music resources

    Primary Music Toolkit

    The ISM Trust and SMA commissioned an online toolkit to help primary school teachers bring the primary curriculum to life.

    Free vocal and instrumental teaching resources