Globe Primary Receives £10,000 Funding from Restore the Music

Music charity awards £180k in grants to schools in UK’s most deprived areas

State schools have welcomed a much-needed grant to boost their music departments, which teachers have said will improve students’ potential and mental health.

Music charity Restore The Music (RTM) has awarded £180,000 in grants to music departments at 11 state schools in the UK’s most deprived areas across London, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. 

The grant recipients include Harris Academy secondary school in Kendra Hall Road, Purley, which will receive a £20,000 grant, Harris Primary Academy in Malcolm Road, Crystal Palace, and Ark Globe Primary School in Harper Road, Elephant and Castle – which will each receive a £10,000 grant.

Ark Globe principal Sam Colburn, 51, said: “It’s amazing to receive this grant. We are in one of the most deprived areas in the country and this funding will enhance the provisions that we have and everything we do here for our children.”

Ms Colburn said the new funding would enable the Elephant and Castle academy to host additional after-school sessions for children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, as well as those in reception, to learn the ukulele and the djembe drum – a West African drum played with bare hands.

The principal said: “It’s about giving our children skills to perform as part of an ensemble and large group. The funding means we can bring in new instruments and target as many school years as possible so children can develop their passions from an early age.”

Across the UK, the RTM grants will reach 8,400 pupils, with access to nearly 2,000 instruments.

Ms Colburn said children who find academic work more challenging will particularly benefit from the funding.

She said: “We know music can benefit children’s mental health and for those who struggle in class this can be something they succeed in. We want them to develop that passion so when they are older they can stand shoulder to shoulder with children from more affluent areas – it’s about making sure we buy into their talents.”

In a 2021 report, University of Edinburgh researchers found links between learning a musical instrument in childhood and improved cognitive skills – acquiring knowledge, reasoning and problem-solving – in older age. 

Participants who played a musical instrument earlier in life showed greater lifetime improvement on a test of cognitive ability than those with less experience, regardless of their socio-economic status, years of education, childhood cognitive ability and their health in older age.

Ms Colburn said: “The benefits of this grant will go beyond the school and into the community. We can now offer more performances at key events like summer fairs and awards evenings and are hoping to expand these further to retirement homes and hospitals in the area.”

Since 2013, RTM has awarded nearly £2.4million across 130 state schools, giving vital access to 30,000 musical instruments and equipment to 100,000 children aged between four and 18 years old.

Polly Moore, founder of RTM, said: “Music has the power to transform children’s futures and we are determined to continue to assist in safeguarding those futures and this country’s creative economy by investing at the very grassroots of the talent pipeline.”