Lucy Thraves


A-level results: 25.4% decline in uptake of music since 2014

1:37, 16th August 2018

Figures published today by the Joint Council of Qualifications show uptake of creative subjects at A-level, especially music, has declined over the past five years.

Since 2014, the number of students taking music for A-level has dropped by 25.4% while those opting for creative subjects generally has declined by 11%. This is compared to a decline of 2.6% in A-level entries overall.

In addition, a smaller proportion of students achieved the top grades in music in 2018 compared to all A-level subjects. A total of 20% of pupils achieved A*-A grades in music compared to 26.4% for all subjects.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said: ‘Many congratulations to students on their hard work and achievements in AS and A-level music this year. We are however deeply concerned by the significant decline in uptake in music at A-level over the past five years.

‘With the Department for Education determined to pursue the EBacc despite evidence clearly demonstrating how damaging it has been to creative subjects, this trend is only like to get worse.

‘We urge the government to urgently rethink their EBacc policy, which must be abolished to preserve access to a creative education in schools.’


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