As students find out their GCSE results today, figures published by the Joint Council of Qualifications show a 15.1% decline in the uptake of GCSE music since 2016.

In the past year alone there has been a 7.4% drop in the number of GCSE entries in music.

The news comes just a week after A-level results day showed similar statistics.

The government’s EBacc policy, which encourages students to take core subjects such as English, Maths and Science, has been cited as a reason for the decline.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), called the policy ‘deeply damaging’. She continued: ‘More than ever we need a comprehensive education policy which will give our students what they need in a post-Brexit, digital world. The EBacc simply isn’t it.’