There are just days left to have your say on the future of the Isle of Wight Music Service.
Government funding cuts over the next three years will see funding for the service cut from £360,000 in 2011/12 to £145,000 in 2014/15
It means the service faces a radical overhaul by the Isle of Wight Council, which has put forward three options. These include cutting out woodwind tuition and getting schools to run their own music lessons. There are also worries about the future of the popular Saturday morning music centre.
Louis Henry, Chair of the Music Centre Friends Association, told IW Radio: "The worst case scenario is that you go into a downward spiral really. They've put forward the three options, but none of the three options actually cover the financial aspects. I can't see that there is any way that any of those three options will cover the money that the council has withdrawn from the Isle of Wight Music Service - that's the problem."
And he said that music services have a positive benefit to school results: "When there was a National Plan for music education that was published about a year ago, as a result of that the government maintained at least some of their funding for music services, there was loads of research on the benefits for children in English, in Maths, in everything else - the ones that learn musical instruments actually do a lot better than all the others ones, so that's what I don't want to lose."
Music Centre is currently held on Saturday mornings at Medina College, Fairlee Road, Newport, between 10am and 12.30 You can find out more information onIW Music Centre Friends Association website www.iwmc.org.uk and add your comments to Facebook here
The IW Council Music Service consultation options:
Restructure and streamlining of the current council music service to include a proposal of teaching a reduced range of musical instruments (likely to include guitar, keyboard, drums and violin). This model would not support for example woodwind tuition and may have an impact on the range of instrumentalists available for the youth orchestras and bands. In addition the music service would retain a small core of staff that would provide a quality assurance role and offer advice and support to schools that may choose to commission other instrumental tuition.
Music service to cease providing any direct instrumental tuition. Schools to provide the music service by buying in staff directly, with the local authority retaining core staff for quality assurance purposes (and to meet the requirements of the Music Education Grant) and to offer advice and support to schools who may choose to commission other instrumental tuition.
Externalisation of the music service by partnership with another organisation (such as another music service) or be part of a new body (trust or community interest company), which might enable the council to secure Models 1 and 2 above or a variation on them.
You can read more about the consultation by clicking here