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Primary Education News
News MPs refuse to listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber's music idea
Pilot scheme to supply every pupil with a musical instrument has proved a success, but no reaction yet from government
Andrew Lloyd Webber on Tuesday complained that ministers don't return his calls as he announced his "undying" support for an education scheme that gives a musical instrument to school pupils whether they like it or not.
His charitable foundation, along with the Wolfson Trust, announced that they were giving £2m over four years to establish a new body called the Music in Secondary Schools Trust. It aims to take an idea pioneered at Highbury Grove school in north London, where music lessons are compulsory, to schools across the country.
"It is extraordinary what they have achieved here," said Lloyd Webber of a scheme that is not necessarily attempting to create battalions of great musicians, but is more about using music to boost academic ability.
The money will go on implementing the scheme at Lister school in Newham this year and another two schools from 2014. If it is successful, the trust can then go to the government with proof that it works and get backing, said Lloyd Webber.
How are ministers reacting? "I don't know how receptive they are," said Lloyd Webber, a Conservative peer. "At the moment I find it difficult to get a returned phone call from any of them. They all pay lip service but I wonder if any of them [ministers] have been to a place like this."