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Official: music to be excluded from EBacc

21 July 2011

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a 'Statement of Intent - 2011', which, among other things, confirms that there will be no place for music on the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc).

The statement reads: 'Last year’s publication of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) prompted much interest and debate about the range of subjects which it should encompass. After consideration of representations, and to provide schools with certainty, the Secretary of State is minded to leave the subjects unchanged i.e. English, maths, two sciences, history or geography, and an ancient or modern foreign language.

'However, from this year, AS levels taken in the relevant subject before the end of KS4 will now also count towards the EBacc. A detailed list of the GCSEs that count towards the EBacc will be published at www.education.gov.uk/performancetables.

'From this year, we will now show more information about each of the EBacc subject areas. The Performance Tables will show the number of pupils entered for each subject area – English, maths, science, languages and humanities. For each of English and maths, we will publish the percentage of the cohort who have attained grade A*-C (as we would expect every pupil to have been entered for these GCSEs); and for other subject areas, the percentage of those entered who have attained grade A*-C.'

The music education community, in particular the Incorporated Society of Musicians, has been vocal in urging the government to include music on the EBacc. Campaigners have claimed that music will decline in schools as a result of its exclusion from the EBacc list, suggesting it will have less prominence on the league tables and therefore will become a lower priority for investment.

The news that music is definitely to be excluded from the EBacc will fuel fears that it will also lose its place on the national curriculum at Key Stage 3 when the outcome of the current curriculum review is announced.

The full statement can be read here:

http://www.education.gov.uk/performancetables/Statement-of-Intent.pdf

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