Music bodies have lamented its exclusion of the subject since its creation. And now they have launched a fresh attack on the English Baccalaureate, warning that, in its current form, it could discourage pupils from studying GCSE music.
At present, music is not included in the proposed list of subjects covered by the English Bacc, something which the Incorporated Society of Musicians claims is “squeezing” the subject out of mainstream schools.
The body said that teachers have already reported a drop in pupils taking music GCSE’s.
“Without music GCSE being given the weighting it deserves, our cultural and creative economy will be put at risk, and young people who want to be involved in the music sector will have their efforts hampered,” Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said.
Currently, the subjects which the government is proposing to include in the Bacc are English, maths, two sciences, an ancient or modern language and either history or geography.
“The government is setting England up for an almighty shock in the future if they continue this policy – let alone the impact it is already having on young people who want to study music,” Ms Annetts added.
However, a spokesperson for the Department for Education rubbished the claims, stating that music in schools is receiving plenty of support.
The spokesperson explained that the government had “protected £82.5 million funding” for music services this year and are in the process of reforming the system so money will be provided where it is most needed.
“We’re recruiting top music graduates and performers into the profession through Teach First and will launch a National Plan for Music Education later this year – to close the ‘musical divide’ between rich and poor,” they told the BBC.
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