Lucy Thraves


‘State of the Nation’ music education report released

12:59, 4th February 2019

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education, the University of Sussex, and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) have released a report which looks at the effect of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) on music education in the UK.

Led by Dr Alison Daubney, PhD senior teaching fellow at the University of Sussex, and Gary Spruce, visiting lecturer in music education, Birmingham City University, the report investigates the Government’s figures regarding the impact of the EBacc on creative subjects.

It challenges the Government’s assertion that Music GCSE is broadly stable by pointing to declines in uptake of the subject (17%) and in teacher workforce (26.7%), and sets out 18 recommendations for music education and the broader education landscape.

APPG for Music Education co-chairs Diana Johnson MP and Andrew Percy MP said in a joint statement that the report ‘shows the scale of the crisis facing music education in England. It shows how Government policy around accountability measures and the curriculum has contributed to a sharp decline in opportunities for pupils to have access to music education.

‘Its recommendations show the breadth of the problem – but also how easily the Government could act to address some of the most pressing issues, at little or no financial cost.’

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the ISM, said: ‘Never has there been a time when creative subjects in school has been more necessary. We are facing the fourth industrial revolution where creativity is vital. Music contributes £4.5bn a year to the UK’s economy whilst the creative industries are worth £101.5bn.

‘Reinforcing the gravity of the situation is Brexit. As a country we will need to deploy our soft skills more than ever and this means music and our other stand out creative industries. We need an education system which is up to these challenges. Headline accountability measures such as the EBacc, which are based on the 1904 Secondary Regulations, are not it.

‘We call on the secretary of state, Damien Hinds, to take a fresh look at the EBacc, the trail of devastation it has caused, and take action.’


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