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More significant cuts to the training of music teachers. Why?

Discussion in 'Music' started by jonsavage, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Recent figures released in a letter from Michael Gove to the Stephen Hillier
    (Chief Executive at the TDA) reveal that only 340 music teachers will
    be trained in all ITT routes (except Teach First) next year. This is a
    reduction of c.13% from the 390 trained this year.

    Precise allocations to individual teacher training providers will be
    announced this month (still waiting …) but this reduction of 13% is very
    disappointing given the 44% reduction last year. It’s hard to believe that in 2009/10 we trained 690 music teachers; next year we will train just 340 (over a 50% cut).

    What are the reasons for this cut? Gove’s letter highlights changing
    demographics and the impact of changes due to Government policy. These
    cuts confirm, to me at least, that the idea of a postgraduate level
    qualified teacher of Music will become the exception not the norm in
    many of schools during the next 3 – 5 years.

    And by the way, this 13% cut is against a general 5% reduction in
    secondary teacher training places for next year. What’s your
    explanation for these cuts?
  2. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    I'd be interested to compare this figure with current number of Music teachers retiring or moving to other employment. In other words, will these 340 fill the gaps?
  3. But there are very few jobs at the moment. Competetion is huge at the moment... I can't get a job :(
  4. My theory is that as budgets tighten in schools and more schools become academies, heads are deciding not to employ music teachers. I know a local music service near me has jumped in on the act and is now supplying wider opps style lessons (and American band style teaching) to at least one free secondary school (I think not an academy) and is also supplying GCSE/A-Level teaching as well to several other schools.
    I'm guessing that they are plugging a gap in the market as it is probably cheaper to buy in teaching from the music service than employ someone directly, as well as maintaining/buying the equipment/instruments as the music service supplies the instruments for the wider opps lessons. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is beginning to suffer in terms of numbers learning instruments due to money and music services are beginning to think about what else they can offer schools.
    There has been plenty of antedotal evidence on here about music being cut due to small numbers/ebacc etc. 2 year key stage 3s also seem to be increasingly popular around my area also accounting for a fall in the amount of music teaching that is needed.

  5. Music is a right under the national curriculum and any school, whether and accademy or not, shoudl be challenged if it wants to reduce or omit music. This situation is intollerable - we can't have schools droppig subjects on a whim - itmight be music now but it could be RE, or D-Tech or Art or any other subject that the school leadership do not understand or deem important.
    This is why we have a national curriculum.
    I can't believe I am defending it.
  6. But, as I understood it, music is not going to be dropped, Rockme. It's just going to be delivered in other ways. And the music plan says that primary music will feature bigger in initial training. Perhaps, just delivered in different ways. Don't be so scaremongerish. And as far as I can see, there are too many music teachers out of work at secondary and instrumental levels! So perhaps they don't need more trained in the traditional ways. Perhaps there will be routes for performers etc to teach.
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Nobody knows whether music is going to be dropped from the National Curriculum. However, Gove has indicated that he wants the National Curriculum to be slimmed down, and one way to do that would be to "opt for fewer compulsory subjects, with ministers specifying only four that must be studied", as the BBC reported back in January.
    If music ends up in the position that subjects such as domestic science did when the NC was first introduced, its future will be bleak in many schools.
  8. It seems that all the schools in my county are reducing their music teaching staff from 2-3 to one at the moment. And also the grammar schools are beginning GCSEs in year 9 instead of year 10.
  9. I was made redundant as a secondary music teacher, they got rid of all the arts and appointed just one person to replace us all! There has only been one music teaching job within a reasonable commute advertised since April, which I didn't get. Am now having to look for jobs outside of teaching as there just aren't the music teaching jobs out there.
  10. 3 years ago I was in a department of 2 teachers, (1 x full time and 1 x 0.8). Now it is a dept of 1. A 2 year KS3, changes to the options systems in the school and now a reduction to less than 1 lesson per week in years 7 and 8 means that the department will not even have 1 full time music teacher next year. I know that similar things are happening in other schools. At this rate there will be significant numbers of unemployed Music teachers.
  11. Hi
    Doesn't it make you mad? It's always the same, we (esp. British) seem to always shoot ourselves in the foot as far as learning in general is concerned. I teach Music (50%) in a Swiss school for learning and behavioural disorders and we are lucky enough to have a policy that ALL pupils learn an instrument. It pays great dividends and the benefit to general schooling has been well documented in research by Swiss/German neuroligist Prof Lutz Jaenke of Zurich University which inspired us to introdice the policy. Having said that, many Swiss mainstream schools are also cutting back on music.
    The following link to very similar work (in English) by Dr. Levin in the USA might interest anyone feeling like lobbying.
    "Your Brain on Music" - http://daniellevitin.com/publicpage/books/this-is-your-brain-on-music/
    Writings and Videos by Sir Ken Robinson (search for TED talks in google) also support the importance of creative arts in general schooling.

  12. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Same north of the border, but those "Above Us" do what the hell they like, regardless of any circumstances and without any forward thinking. It's not right but there is nothing we can do about it. That said, I don't sit back and let them get on with it without grabbing every opportunity for making my views known. As you say Rockme, it can be any subject to go next, and I know of schools who do not offer HE, RE or history at any level and others where only lower levels are taught.
    I wish!
  13. The mix of responses to my original post is interesting. For those of you looking for jobs, I wish you every success. However, as others have commented, the wider picture of how Music is being treated is very worrying. Nothing in the recently released National Curriculum review will, in my opinion, change the general direction of travel away from Music being taught by postgraduate level qualified teachers in many schools. This is the only explanation for these cuts. Policy decisions, cited by Gove in his letter to the TDA but not explained in detail, will result in Music being delivered too schools as a cultural enrichment rather than being seen as an core educational entitlement for all pupils. The sooner we realised this and fight against it the better. I don't think there is any other subject currently taught in our schools that would tolerate a change like this.
  14. I agree, otherwise he would have included it in the English Bacc. Also teacher training places for music teachers have been cut down to 340. I don't understand the need for a curriculum review if so many schools are becoming academies and can teach what they like?


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