Music: State of the Nation

Date: 06.02.2019

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education, in partnership with the University of Sussex and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) have produced a report which examines the state of music education in England. As various other research reports have shown, music is in a poor state. 

Some key findings:

There are serious questions to be addressed regarding the music education workforce that is demoralised from the marginalisation of music in our schools, as well as facing both skills and funding shortages.

To date the target of 75% (90% by 2025) for EBacc take up has failed to be met by a very long way. Currently the number of students studying the EBacc has plateaued at around 38% in state-funded schools. Indeed the number of students passing the EBacc was just 16.7% in 2017/2018. And yet this failing policy is causing untold damage to music and many other creative subjects in our schools.

EBacc is negatively impacting young people from groups experiencing high levels of social deprivation. Students are discouraged from taking creative subjects in order to focus on subjects that form part of the EBacc. Yet a higher percentage of secondary students eligible for free school meals (FSM) were temporarily or permanently excluded from school last year than achieved the EBacc.

Government policy, particularly around accountability measures like the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), has significantly negatively impacted on music education in schools in England. Curriculum time for music (which is statutory for Key Stage 1–3) has reduced, along with opportunities for children to pursue music to GCSE and A Level.

 

Full report here