Funding fears over Newham Music Academy

Parents of children attending Newham Music Academy fear it could be forced to close after bosses launched an urgent review of its finances.

They are examining their cashflow and the services provided at the centre in Wakefield Street, East Ham, in the hope of securing funding from Newham Council.

They insist they have no immediate plans to close and say they have held “constructive discussions” with the authority.

But parents who contacted the Recorder said they had fears for the Academy’s future.

One, who asked not to be named, said: “My daughter has been having lessons at the academy for many years.

“We were told there was a meeting earlier this week and it would be closing.

“We were told it was because they used to get a grant from the government’s Standards Fund, but that was going to be stopped.

Most Read

“It would be a terrible loss for Newham if it were to close. I had music lessons myself 30 years ago and it really helped me with my confidence.”

An online petition titled “Save the Newham Academy of Music” — launched last Tuesday and linked from the Academy’s page on social networking website Facebook — has attracted more than 1,100 signatures.

The text of the petition reads: “Central government has promised to continue funding music education however it is yet to be confirmed by Newham Council that this money will continue to be used to fund the Newham Academy of Music.

“If the Newham Academy of Music does not receive this grant they will be closed by the end of April.”

Academy bosses refused to comment on the centre’s future when contacted by the Recorder.

They issued a statement — agreed with Newham Council — that reads: “We have had very constructive discussions with key officials, including Mayor Sir Robin Wales, about the way forwards.

“It is clear that both the Mayor and the council remains committed to continuing to provide music education to children in Newham.

“We agreed on a number of things, including an urgent review of our service provision and financial position by council staff, to help inform future planning.”