County music service faced with closure

East Sussex Music Service is facing closure due to cuts to local government funding. The music service currently delivers music lessons to 7000 children across schools in East Sussex with around 1000 children attending music service centres each week.

Under the new proposals by East Sussex County Council a reduced music service will continue with the running of music centres where children get the chance to play in ensembles and the East Sussex Academy of Music at Sussex Downs College in Lewes. But instrumental lessons for individuals and small groups will no longer be funded meaning teachers and administrative staff may lose their jobs.

Jane Humberstone, the National Education Union representative for East Sussex Music service, said that the responsibility could fall onto schools if instrumental music lessons are cut. “The plan is to have either private teaching in schools or teacher co-operatives,” she said. “How this will be organised we don’t know.”

A petition to save the music service has now reached over 6000 signatures which means East Sussex County Council will have full council debate to discuss the proposed closure and whether it would be beneficial.

The future of the music service will be determined by Councillor Bob Standley, lead member for education and inclusion at East Sussex County Council, at a meeting on Monday 30th April at 10:30am at County Hall in Lewes.

You can sign the petition to show your support for the music service by clicking here.

Photo credit: Julie Vaughan