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Expert panel to devise model music curriculum - My Response

Discussion in 'Music' started by Songwriteruk, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Songwriteruk

    Songwriteruk New commenter

    ‘All pupils at least up to the age of 14 should study music in school.’
    Well, Mr Gibb, they won’t unless you stop schools from systematically removing creative subjects from their curriculum.

    Music is a statutory National curriculum subject and should be taught up until the end of Y9 (age 14) however, a large proportion of schools start GCSE option subjects after Y8 so no music for the majority after this point. Also, only local authority schools have to follow the National Curriculum so Academies are free to do what they wish, some have removed music from their curriculum altogether.

    At Key stage 4 (GCSEs) arts subjects have not been included as part of the coveted English Baccalaureate (a mythical qualification which doesn’t even exist - nothing for the young person, just a measure for the school). This almost incentivises schools not to offer arts subjects at GCSE.

    And don’t even think about going on to University to study as you apparently won’t earn as much as other professionals which is clearly all that matters (according to think tanks such as Onwards - https://www.thestage.co.uk/…/government-restrict-access-lo…/).

    So let’s pump more money into music hubs. Will this mean more children truly learning an instrument and benefiting from a greater resourced music department or a couple of terms worth of instrumental tuition in primary school, which has historically lead to few young people continuing into secondary (where parents are usually expected to purchase tuition). How about using the money to further subsidise music tuition in secondary schools, or creating a ring-fenced arts premium paid directly to schools. I don’t question the honorable aims of hubs, however, like so many parts of education, funding levels have forced them to become businesses needing to generate large amounts of income (usually via instrumental lessons) just to survive.

    Finally, we’re going to pull together another panel of experts to tell the music teachers what to teach. Is this really where the problem with music education lies...with the teachers? Have we not been here before?

    Remember the music manifesto (2007), the national music plan (2011), the Henley review (2011), Ofsted music review ‘Wider Still, and Wider’, (2012) new National Curriculum for music (2013) to name but a few.

    The majority of these reports call for more music and opportunity for young people in schools - tell us something we don’t already know!

    It is time the Government, Schools Commissioners, and OFSTED started challenging schools to:

    - Deliver a broad curriculum offer to students of all ages, giving measurable credit to those schools that do (hoping the new Ofsted framework will make a start on this).
    - Ensure all statutory subjects under the National Curriculum become statutory in ALL schools, including academies.
    - Support secondary music departments directly to ensure funding has a direct impact within the classroom, not just a taster or lessons for the few.
    - Place value on arts for all it brings to society (particularly the contribution it could make in combating our Mental Health crisis in schools and wider society), not simply measuring creative arts in terms of contribution to the UK economy (which is considerable anyway).

    Without these measures, music will continue to disappear from the reaches of the many and become restricted to the few who can afford it.

    Steve Trotter
    Education Adviser and Music Specialist

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