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Alarming diminuendo in music teaching

A new report suggests that the number of schools in England teaching music is in rapid decline...

Blackboard
  Fewer schools are offering music as a compulsory subject

A report in The Guardian newspaper this week has stated that the teaching of A Level music could be in danger of disappearing with fewer students taking the subject at GCSE level.

Drop

A survey by Sussex University found that the number of schools offering music at A-level had fallen by more than 15% in the past two years, while there had also been a 10% drop in the numbers for GCSE.

The more specialized music technology A-level had also declined by 32% over the same period.

The survey of 500 schools in England showed music is disappearing at an alarming rate as a compulsory subject at secondary level.

In 2012-13, music was compulsory for 13 to 14 year-olds in 84% of responding schools. However, the latest survey found it was compulsory in just 47.5%. Music teacher numbers were down in 36% of schools with 70% also having to teach outside their subject.

Most alarmingly, 18% of the schools participating in the survey did not offer GCSE music at all, while in others it was referred to as an 'enrichment day' under taken once a year.

The survey of 500 schools in England showed music is disappearing at an alarming rate as a compulsory subject at secondary level4BR

Preserve of those who can pay

The report's author, Duncan Mackrill, a senior teaching fellow at Sussex University told The Guardian: "Music's place in the secondary curriculum continues to be precariously balanced or disappearing in a significant number of schools.

Without a change to require a balanced curriculum in all schools, we are in danger of music education becoming, in many cases, the preserve of those who can pay."

Under threat

Meanwhile, in a separate report, the Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, said music lessons in schools would be under threat if the government failed to cover the cost of the teacher pay rise to centrally employed music teachers.



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Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist