Music education advocacy news

Advocacy – music in schools latest news & campaigns

This post featuring the latest news and reports on music education and music education advocacy will be updated each time we add news and campaigns about music in schools. This page focuses on the UK – international pages to follow. Please comment below if there’s anything you think we need to add.


UK governments

The ISM releases report on the future of music education in England, December 2018
The report makes a series of recommendations for both music education in the classroom and any revised National Plan for Music Education in England.
New research shows creativity will become even more important to the growth of jobs between now and 2030, November 2018
Ofsted says narrow curriculum is risk to quality of education in England, November 2018
Young musicians make impassioned plea over music tuition in Scotland, November 2018
Two Scottish Youth Parliament members give evidence to Holyrood’s education committee as part of its inquiry into music tuition in schools.
Wales urged to consider moving music services away from local authorities, November 2018
The Welsh Government has also been advised to establish national pop and rock competitions, and significantly increase funding for musical instruments.
DfE to ‘test appetite’ for music as facilitating subject, November 2018
DfE to write to universities after failure to list A-level music as facilitating subject branded ‘profoundly unhelpful’.
House of Lords debate on the state of music education in schools, October 2018
Music in society inquiry October 2018-March 2019
Ofsted to refocus on ‘broad curriculum’ in England, October 2018
Campaigners against the EBacc have welcomed the move, but say it will not be enough on its own to save arts subjects.

Research figures -related

Teaching music in school ‘ticking boxes’ as numbers fall in Wales, November 2018
The number of pupils in Wales studying music at A-level has halved in 10 years while GCSE entries have seen a 40% drop.
Drop in pupils getting music tuition in Scottish schools, November 2018
The number of children receiving musical instrument tuition in Scotland’s schools has dropped by more than 1,200 over the past year.
Music education in England at significant risk of disappearing, new University of Sussex research reveals, October 2018
Music disappearing from curriculum in England, October 2018
Fewer schools in England offering subject at A-level and fewer pupils taking it at GCSE.

Schools providing compulsory music at year 9 has halved in the last 6 years

Fears for the future of music lessons in schools in England, October 2018
Is EBacc affecting what students study at GCSE and A-level in England?, August 2018
Since 2013, the number of A-level entries in arts subjects in England, which include drama, music and art, has fallen by 14,000, almost 15%. While, entries in Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – have increased by 15,500, 6%.










Arts slashed as core subjects take over in England, August 2018
Latest figures for 2017 show that the time spent teaching music is down 11% at KS3, and 12% at KS4.
GCSE results in England confirm continued collapse of arts in schools, August 2018
Music entries down 7.4%, and performing and expressive arts entries down 41.4%
GCSE Results Day 2018 in England: uptake of creative subjects down by 10.2%, August 2018
Music A-level “in danger of disappearing from England’s state schools”, August 2018
The sharp warning from the Association of School and College Leaders comes as A-level data in England reveals the decline in entries for arts subjects has doubled in speed since last year.
Arts teacher numbers plummet by almost a quarter in England, July 2018
9,000 secondary school arts teachers have left their jobs in England since 2011
Collapse in GCSE arts subjects in England gathers pace, May 2018
The fall in entry numbers in England for GCSE arts subjects has reached record levels
Music instruction ‘at risk of extinction’, May 2018
Teaching union warns of impact of ‘catastrophic cuts’ in Scotland
Growing research on the negative effects of the EBacc:
* University of Sussex research, 700 secondary schools, March 2017
* Cultural Learning Alliance Ebacc evidence and briefings

Other news articles

Govt sets deadline to make South Australia the nation’s leader in music education, November 2018
South Australian schools will lead the nation in music education by 2029 under a State Government plan to reverse what teachers say has been as a gradual slipping of SA’s standing.
Poorer children being priced out of music lessons, November 2018 and Poorer children priced out of learning to play musical instruments, November 2018
Chancellor urged to ‘urgently review’ music education, October 2018
Warning that the decline of music in schools could jeopardise the UK’s multi-billion-pound music industry.
Music education hubs in England struggle to attract older pupils, October 2018
The drop in those aged 14 to 18 was revealed in a report on English music education hubs by Birmingham City University.
Record numbers in England learning instruments in class thanks to music hubs, October 2018
New report shows more than 700,000 pupils in England are benefiting from whole class instrumental teaching.
Music project brings harmony to Gwynedd schools and homes, July 2018
Bacc for the Future gets heard in Parliament, July 2018
MU launches four surveys as part of new UK music education research project, July 2018
Call for new national body to save music education services in Wales, June 2018
Rap tutorials help troubled Scots school pupils turn the page, June 2018
Why the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra continues to invest in music education, June 2018
Top musicians unite in bid for all children to learn an instrument, May 2018
How to improve school results: not extra maths but music, loads of it
The story that broke about music teacher Jimmy Rotheram, head Naveed Idrees and Feversham Primary’s journey from special measures to being in the top 10% nationally.
News consortium forms to address crisis in music education
It features four of the UK’s main access-to-music organisations – Creative United, OHMI, Drake Music and OpenUp Music – who want to make musical instruments more widely available to aspiring young musicians – particularly to disabled people.


New evidence Briefing: The Arts in Schools in England, September 2018
Cultural Learning Alliance briefing paper
Arts in Schools advocacy toolkit, September 2018
Published in partnership between Bacc for the Future and What Next?the Arts in Schools Toolkit is designed to provide all the information you need to champion arts education in your area.


Bacc for the future – anti-EBacc campaign run by the Incorporated Society of Musicians
Cultural Learning Alliance – news and advocacy about cultural and creative education
Wiltshire Music Connect’s ‘Importance of Music‘ campaign contains useful advocacy information

Opinion articles

Music education ‘thrown to the wolves’ in England, November 2018
Musician John Thirkell has called on the Westminster government to support music lessons for children.
‘Music boosts attainment – and transforms communities’, November 2018
With school music tuition under threat in Scotland, one leader argues that music has the power to break down barriers.
Is there a music education crisis?, November 2018
Secondary schools have been subject to cutbacks in music education, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the many recent successes and advances in this area, argues Carol Reid, Programme Director at Youth Music.
Learning music early can make your child a better reader, November 2018
Dr Anita Collins explains how learning music in the early years of schooling can help children learn to read.
Music education helps improve children’s ability to learn, October 2018
Music educator, Dr Anita Collins, explains how
Arts vital for a child’s sense of inclusion, September 2018
The creative arts should be immovable parts of a child’s school day, something cherished and valued, says Lenny Henry.
Arts in English schools: the end of an era, September 2018
Why Music at School Matters: The decline of music in Belgian schools and the need to revive it, September 2018
More than an elective: Why music education is essential, August 2018
Sing out! The value of music education, August 2018
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is a state school success story. He may never have a successor, July 2018
School music is more than an enjoyable pastime, June 2018
The Guardian view on educational priorities: arts not grammars, May 2018
Cuts to school funding and music education mean we are failing Bristol’s children, May 2018 – Phil Castang, Bristol Music Trust
‘Protect music education at all costs’, May 2018 – Sadiq Khan, mayor of London
Music education is now only for the white and wealthy – Guardian opinion, March 2017
The quiet decline of music in British schools, March 2018
Barely one in 20 pupils took music GCSE last year. How much longer will the world dance to Britain’s tune?
Music education needs to be fought for – let’s not allow it to slip away – TES, Philip Viveash
Music education out of tune with how young people learn – Musical Routes Report, Royal Philharmonic Society, 2016
Music education must move beyond classical and become more inclusive – Matt Griffiths, CEO Youth Music, 2014
The end of music in schools as we know it?, September 2012 – Howard Goodall

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