Music Development Plans – New Vision for Primary Music

Our Ofsted-ready curriculum pack works hand in hand with new NPME Music Development Plans. Learn how your primary can improve music and progress pupils’ learning.

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Music Development Plans Unlock Primary Learning

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin. Winston Churchill. Historic figures of immense national distinction. Both attributed with offering this sage advice.

And when it comes to education, particularly music education, the guidance has never rung more true.

There are so many elements to consider.

Provision. Funding. Equipment. Facilities. Timetabling. Performances.

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools

How can headteachers keep all the balls in the air at their primary? 

How can academy trusts ensure the quality of provision across multiple locations and pupil requirements? 

How can parents know what to expect from their early years provider or within their child’s KS2 curriculum?

A music instructor is teaching ukulele to a small group of attentive students wearing school uniforms. The focus is on a young boy as he carefully watches the teacher's hand positioning, while a girl to his side also practices, illustrating a moment of musical learning and concentration.

Importance of Music Development Plans

The answer. Music Development Plans.

Conceived by the Department for Education (DfE) as a kind of “service level agreement” between schools, teachers, parents and government regulators, the music development plan is a key provision of the new National Plan for Music Education (NPME).  

“[I]n partnership with their Music Hub, we would like every school (including multi-academy trusts) to have a Music Development Plan that captures the curricular and co-curricular offer and sets out how it will be staffed and funded.” GOV

Practical Application of Music Development Plans

In order for MDPs to provide practical and ongoing support for music education delivery, the DfE envision certain foundational features to be in place across the UK. 

One of the most important elements needed to achieve the DfE’s reinvigorated approach to music education is a national network of learning excellence, connecting primary and secondary schools with Music Hubs and specialist service music suppliers. 

The NPME looks to encourage a coordinated music learning schema that helps pupils progress from EYFS settings all the way to university and beyond into orchestral, composition, and other careers opportunities. Integral to this is active participation by schools, local Music Hubs, Lead Schools for Music, as well as four Music Hub national centres of excellence. 

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools

How will this work? 

The DfE guidance contained in The power of music to change lives states:

[Our overarching ambition for music education]  will be realised at a local area level through the Music Hub partners, captured in the Local Plan for Music Education, covering music education in and out of school and co-ordinated by the Music Hub lead organisation. 

At school level, it will be captured in the school’s Music Development Plan, helping to show parents and children what they can expect from music education. For academies, these school-level plans should draw from and link back into the trust’s improvement plans. We would also like to see more trusts adopting a trust-wide Music Development Plan. GOV

Two schoolchildren in green uniforms are seated on the floor, sharing a wooden xylophone. The girl on the left, with a long braid, holds a mallet and appears focused on the instrument, while the girl on the right looks at her with a smile, suggesting a moment of musical collaboration and learning.
A young student in a green school sweater is playing the piano, focused on the keys, while a smiling teacher with a lanyard stands beside her, observing and offering guidance, creating an atmosphere of learning and encouragement in music education.

How to Build a Music Development Plan that Delivers

There’s no better time than now to begin the journey. 

And while the DfE acknowledges there may be a preparedness disparity between and among schools, they encourage heads and SLTs to “be able to articulate their plan for delivering high-quality music education and supporting pupils to progress, just as they would in any other curriculum subject.” GOV 

“There are many schools already delivering this, and we want others to feel supported to achieve the same. We understand it will take time for some schools to achieve all that is set out here, but the sooner changes start to happen, the sooner children will benefit.” GOV

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools

If you find yourself struggling to prepare an MDP, you can look to any number of templated digital resources, such as the excellent resources prepared by Music Teachers Magazine.

“For many schools – particularly primary schools, potentially with non-specialist music leads – pulling this document together is quite a demand. To prevent ‘blank piece of paper panic’, [our guide] aims to give schools a helping hand to get this document written sooner rather than later.” MT

But as we know delivering a high-quality school music programme goes beyond pen and paper exercises. You also need strategic planning expertise, curriculum resources and often peripatetic provision to bring your vision for music to life.

Sing Education - Your Partner for Music Education

Sing Education are already helping coordinate the music provision of over 50 schools across 14 rural, large county and metropolitan areas in England. Our current partner schools are well along the way to achieving the goals of the national plan, and over this next year we want to support even more schools in the development of their own School Music Development Plans.

As part of our consultancy services to schools, we are able to help you research and write your development plan, supporting with the areas for growth, whether this be staff CPD, enrichment opportunities or giving children access to more weekly curricular and co-curricular music.

In addition, we’ve also developed a new music curriculum pack to equip our partner schools with the tools they need to successfully monitor the music curriculum and demonstrate it to Ofsted

The pack sits above our fully bespoke music lesson plans and includes all our medium-term planning and learning outcomes and a detailed skills progression map, which provides great opportunities for assessment and monitoring. 


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

For even more info, practical tips and guidance, click below to download your FREE “National Plan for Music Executive Summary and Video”

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools


About Us

Founded in 2014 and serving more than 16,000 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 #MusicChangesLives #HubsAndSpokes


  1. The power of music to change lives GOV
  2. As above
  3. As above
  4. As above
  5. A practical guide to writing a primary school Music Development Plan MT MusicTeacherMagazine

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