Chalk Talk: Musicians - now it's your turn to make a stand against the cuts

The message to emerge from the Department for Education over the Christmas break appears to be one that resistance to the scale of public spending cuts may not be futile after all.

Just before Christmas, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced a partial U-turn over the funding of school sport. Originally, all the funding earmarked for school sports partnership was to be axed – provoking an outcry from former Olympic athletes who wondered what kind of message this sent about our commitment to sport in the run-up to the 2012 games.

Then the charity Booktrust was told that all its funding (worth £13million) for imaginative schemes, such as the provision of books to parents of newborn babies in a bid to encourage reading habits at home, was to be axed.

There was an outcry from authors, poets and opposition MPs as Philip Pullman, Sir Andrew Motion and Labour party leader Ed Miliband combined to condemn the scheme.

Now it emerges that discussions are taking place over an alternative scheme aimed at concentrating resources on areas where they are most needed.

The latest threat to emerge is over music education, which faces the quadruple whammy of cuts in local authority funding, the ending of its ring-fenced government grant in March, higher fees for would-be music teachers at university and a downgrading of the subject in headteachers' eyes as it becomes ineligible as a subject for the Coalition Government's new English baccalaureate.

Time, methinks, for celebrated musicians to get up in arms and complain about the threat so that it can be rectified at least partially with the publication of the Government's review of music education – chaired by Classic FM boss Darren Henley later on this month.

Raise a glass, if you can still afford it, to the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers and the National Foundation for Educational Research, for their efforts in the run-up.

As far as I can ascertain, they were the only organisations to host festive drinks gatherings in the run-up to Christmas. No Government department or any of the few remaining quangos would consider such frivolous spending in such austere times, of course.

However, it seems that their austerity has been spreading like wildfire. I don't condone frivolous wasting of taxpayers' money, of course, but, as I say, we must be thankful for small mercies.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine