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Melissa Bradshaw

New research finds 21% decrease in music provision in England’s state schools

4:32, 11th March 2019

A new survey published on 8 March by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reveals that state schools have seen a 21% decrease in music provision within the last five years.

Compared to a 7% rise in music provision over the same period of time in independent schools, the research shows a widening gap between private and state education, with students in deprived areas receiving considerably fewer opportunities in music.

The BPI’s main findings, having surveyed more than 2,000 teachers for the report, were:

  • Around 30% of state schools have seen a decrease in curriculum time for music
  • Only 12% of the most deprived schools have an orchestra, compared to 75% of independent schools
  • One in four schools serving disadvantaged communities offer no music instrument lessons
  • Only 64% of schools serving disadvantaged communities offer students the opportunity to take part in a school musical or play, compared with 96% of independent schools
  • 89% of independent schools run a choir, compared to just 60% of the most disadvantaged state schools
  • Almost 40% of state-funded secondary schools now have no compulsory music lessons in year nine
  • Only 44% of music lessons in a primary school are delivered by a music specialist
  • One in five primary school teachers report there is no regular music lesson for their class

The BPI are now calling on the government to boost funding for music lessons in state schools, and for music to be recognised by Ofsted as a core component in the education of young people.

Geoff Taylor, BPI and BRIT Awards’ chief executive, said: ‘This equality is not just deeply unfair to children in the state sector, it risks depriving our culture of future talents as diverse as Adele, Stormzy and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. We believe that every child in this country should have the same opportunity to access tuition and to discover and develop their musical talent.’

For full details on the report visit https://www.bpi.co.uk/.

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