Government’s Bold Plan for Levelling Up Culture & Education

Sing Education is bringing you a three-part series looking at the Government’s white paper in depth:

  • What changes does the paper set forth?
  • Who will be impacted by the new measures?
  • When will the outlined plans come into force?

Schools

3-PART SERIES: New Futures for Schools, Youth & the Arts

:point_right:Click here to read the second article in our three-part in-depth series on The Government’s Bold Plan for Levelling Up Culture & Education.:point_left:

I. Levelling Up – What’s Lies Ahead for Our Communities?

This Spring marked the release of the seminal Government white paper entitled, “Levelling Up the United Kingdom.” Setting forth an ambitious agenda for boosting economic growth, shoring up the nation’s cultural institutions and putting advanced skills and better primary education within the reach of millions, the 332-page document has generated quite a lot of conversation, and some would also say, controversy.

Produced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), some of the most vocal critics have objected to the outsize nature of key policy objectives, the lack of clear evaluation metrics, as well as general ambiguity around the white papers’ policy delivery timetable and roadmap.

But whether critic or supporter, it’s clear that UK educators, as well as local councillors, community leaders and school partisans – notably, parents, governors and academy trust executives – need to understand the key tenets of this important piece of work.

That’s why Sing Education is bringing you a three-part series looking at the Government’s white paper in depth:

  • What changes does the paper set forth?
  • Who will be impacted by the new measures?
  • When will the outlined plans come into force?

And with these broad stroke questions resolved, we’ll dive deeper into the two areas that mean the most to our clients and partners – how the new measures impact education and the arts, as well as the government’s financial commitment to supporting the same.

It is vital that we preserve and enhance the economic, academic and cultural success stories of the UK’s most productive counties, towns and cities.

II. The Case for Change - Education & Culture

Why change? Why now?

The UK, in many ways, is an unparalleled success story – brimming with diversity, prosperity and optimism. And this assessment holds up not only when we’re compared to less advanced economies around the globe but also when we’re compared to similar Western European nations.

And though the Scandinavian nations might be considered among the happiest on earth, Great Britain certainly has many other achievements about which to boast.

As affirmed by the DLUHC, the UK is “a multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-ethnic state with the world’s best broadcaster, a vibrantly creative arts sector [and] a National Health Service which guarantees care for every citizen.”

In addition, we have “charities and voluntary groups which perform a million acts of kindness daily, globally renowned scientists extending the boundaries of knowledge every year, [and] entrepreneurs developing the products and services which bring joy and jobs to so many.”

So what’s our biggest driver for change?

Inequality.

As articulated by the DLUHC, opportunity in the UK isn’t like runny honey on one’s breakfast toast. Smooth and evenly distributed.

Instead it’s much more like crunchy peanut butter – lumpy in certain bits, creamy in others. Or in a word, uneven.

“Not everyone shares equally in the UK’s success. While talent is spread equally across our country, opportunity is not. Levelling up is a mission to challenge, and change, that unfairness. Levelling up means giving everyone the opportunity to flourish. It means people everywhere living longer and more fulfilling lives, and benefitting from sustained rises in living standards and well-being.” (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The UK has larger geographical differences than many other developed countries on multiple measures, including productivity, pay, educational attainment and health.

We are a nation where regional patterns of economic growth, educational attainment and cultural access have become further and further bifurcated from the standards enjoyed by our capital.

And adding to the complexity of the situation, everything from where we get our tomatoes (transport and logistics), to where we take our summer holidays (globalisation and culture), to what careers we choose (the shift from heavy industry to knowledge work), are driven by trends in globalisation, culture and technology which pay no respect to local borders or geographies.

“Over the past century, many trends have combined to create the spatial patterns seen across the UK today. Globalisation, technological progress, advances in transport, logistics and power, and the shift from heavy industry to knowledge-intensive sectors, as well as the rise of foreign holidays and shift from technical training to university education, have had a large and lasting impact on the economic geography of the UK.” (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

That’s why the Government took the bold step to outline 12 key areas on which to focus over the next decade to better ensure our future and to address the widening divide between regions marked by prosperity and those marked by disadvantage.

III. The Twelve Missions Outlined - Better Living, Working and Learning

So let’s take a look at the key policy agenda items outlined in the Levelling Up white paper. You’ll note that they’re organised around four guiding principles:

  • Raising the standard of living in areas where it’s currently lagging
  • Improving the delivery of key public services such as health and education
  • Implementing stronger “pride of place” measures to improve housing, crime and community satisfaction stats
  • Further devolving central governmental powers and funding formulae into the hands of local leadership

These principles or goals are then broken down further into twelve areas of focus, with associated mission objectives.

[I]t is equally critical that we improve productivity, boost economic growth, encourage innovation, create good jobs, enhance educational attainment and renovate the social and cultural fabric of those parts of the UK that have stalled.

Here’s an overview to guide your understanding…

Levelling Up Goal 1: Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging

Mission 1 – Living Standards

  • By 2030, pay, employment and productivity will have risen in every area of the UK, with each area containing a globally competitive city, and the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.

Mission 2 – Research & Development (R&D)

  • By 2030, domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40%, and over the Spending Review period by at least one third. This additional government funding will seek to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.

Mission 3 – Transport Infrastructure

  • By 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing.

Mission 4 – Digital Connectivity

  • By 2030, the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.


Levelling Up Goal 2: Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest

Mission 5 – Education

  • By 2030, the number of primary school children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths will have significantly increased. In England, this will mean 90% of children will achieve the expected standard, and the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas will have increased by over a third.

Mission 6 – Skills

  • By 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high quality-skills training annually, driven by 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas.

Mission 7 – Health

  • By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by five years.

Mission 8 – Well-being

  • By 2030, well-being will have improved in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing


Levelling Up Goal 3: Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost

Mission 9 – Pride in Place

  • By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing.

Mission 10 – Housing

  • By 2030, renters will have a secure path to ownership with the number of first-time buyers increasing in all areas; and the government’s ambition is for the number of non-decent rented homes to have fallen by 50%, with the biggest improvements in the lowest performing areas.

Mission 11 – Crime

  • By 2030, homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime will have fallen, focused on the worst affected areas.


Levelling Up Goal 4: Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency

Mission 12 – Local Leadership

  • By 2030, every part of England that wants one will have a devolution deal with powers at or approaching the highest level of devolution and a simplified, long-term funding settlement.
Improving productivity, and spreading prosperity, crucially depends on enhancing people’s education and skills.

Next Up in the Sing Education Levelling Up Series:

:point_right: Click here for Part II of the Government’s Bold Plans for Levelling Up Culture & Education,:point_left:where we’ll examine how a new mechanism for school funding, the launch of a National Academy, the introduction of 55 new Education Investment Areas (EIAs) and the rollout of ambitious new targets for literacy and numeracy will impact students, educators and MAT executives across the UK.

To learn more about Sing Education, including how our music provision, online instrumental lessons and at home learning resources contribute to a well-rounded music curriculum, please visit singeducation.co.uk/schools

 

 

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About Us

Founded in 2014 and serving more than 9,000 children each week, Sing Education is a first class provider of primary school music education. Focusing on high-quality, singing-led tuition, we deliver a complete solution for schools which includes teacher recruitment, training and management, bespoke curricular resources and educational consultancy services.

Through music lessons, singing assemblies, choirs, after school clubs and instrumental tuition, Sing Education works with students from Nursery right through to Year 6. Our core philosophy is that “Every Child Has A Voice,” and, as educators active in the classroom, our directors and teachers know firsthand how much young learners benefit from exciting, rewarding music education. singeducation.co.uk/schools

#SingEducation #MusicChangesLives

Sources:

Levelling Up the United Kingdom: Executive Summary DLUHC

Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper DLUHC

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