Music opportunities for pupils in schools in England are gradually being eroded as a result of the introduction of the new English Baccalaureate.
Responding to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Music Educators (NAME), the vast majority of secondary school music teachers said that their departments and students have been impacted by the qualification.
Indeed, of those questioned in the survey, NAME found that 60 per cent of educators feared that their schools would reduce the level of music opportunities which it afforded to its pupils.
Respondents said that this would be a result of headteachers looking to increase the number of pupils taking and passing the English Baccalaureate.
“The arts have long been recognised as an essential part of a broad and balanced education,” Sarah Kekus, the chair of NAME, said.
“Excluding the arts from the English Baccalaureate makes them invisible in school, not only leading to cuts in provision, but also reducing opportunities for young people to gain recognition for what they excel in.”
Education secretary Michael Gove introduced the Baccalaureate to help measure the performance of schools in England. It takes in performance in five core subject areas including maths, English, science, a foreign language and either history or geography.
However, not everyone has welcomed the move and both NAME and the Incorporated Society of Musicians have called for Mr Gove to reconsider the omission of music from the core subject areas.
Deborah Annetts, chief executive Incorporated Society of Musicians, told the BBC that she was concerned that music will be squeezed out of the curriculum altogether.
“Not only are there challenges for music education in terms of funding and structure, but also music’s place in the curriculum is under threat,” she warns. “The government must stop, look and listen before it takes a seriously wrong step, jeopardising music education for generations to come.”
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