This year’s first APPG for Music Education meeting was held virtually on 25 May 2021. The meeting was chaired by Lord Black, following apologies from Dame Diana Johnson who was unable to attend.
Presentations were delivered by:
Dr Underhill concluded by highlighting the very real impact that the pandemic has had on the health and wellbeing of teachers and students alike, and the need to be aware of this issue as class teaching begins to resume in full.
Kevin Rogers spoke next about the recently published Model Music Curriculum within the context of the government’s music education framework and wider policies and initiatives. Mr Rogers concluded his presentation by outlining that the music education sector needs a complete curriculum framework through a refreshed National Plan for Music Education. He stressed that this should be designed by the wider music education community before publication.
David Ward, managing director of Technology in Music Education (TiME), gave a brief presentation into the application of music technology in the delivery of music education.
Professor Nate Holder, music education consultant, author, and advocate for decolonising music education, spoke on the importance of critically engaging with the music curriculum and its colonial past.
Professor Holder spoke about the dominance of a white, Western European and American knowledge base and history in both the curriculum and outlook within music education. He went on to consider the need to challenge this dominance to address the issue of underrepresentation in both educational resources and music education spaces.
John Robinson concluded by emphasising the need to listen, reflect critically and act to achieve change the sector is calling for. Mr Robinson noted that opportunities to implement meaningful change must not be missed.
Due to coronavirus restrictions the APPG for Music Education was postponed from March and took place virtually on 14 July 2020. The APPG for Music Education was chaired by Dame Diana Johnson MP.
After the AGM for the election/re-election of officers, presentations were given by Dr Ally Daubney and Duncan Mackrill from the University of Sussex, Sue Beckett, Chief Executive Officer of Portsmouth Music Hub, John Bergin, Chief Executive Officer of Newham Music Hub, Dr Jodie Underhill, Independent Researcher and Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.
Dr Ally Daubney opened her presentation on the state of music education within the national curriculum pre-COVID-19 and the pressures faced by schools due to government accountability measures and the EBacc. She explained that government policy has marginalised music in the school curriculum and referenced the APPG’s State of the Nation report.
Dr Daubney concluded that now is the time for a new National Plan for Music Education, which would ensure all young people can access sustained high-quality music education, augmented and supported through the network of Music Education Hubs.
Duncan Mackrill from the University of Sussex spoke next on the key issues for Music Education Hubs in England. Mr Mackrill concluded his presentation by setting out five recommendations for how the challenges for Hubs might be addressed, which is dependent on clarity regarding the future of Hub funding. These include:
1. Sharing of digital practices between Hubs and schools;
2. Clear timely guidance on safeguarding from DfE;
3. ACE asking Hubs to account for how they have used their grant in this period;
4. Ending the de-professionalisation of visiting instrumental teachers taking place in some Hubs;
5. A revised National Plan for Music Education.
Sue Beckett and John Bergin spoke of their experiences within their respective music hubs and the current challenges they are facing and those they have overcome as well as continuing to deliver music services to children and young adults.
Ms Beckett concluded her presentation by outlining what is needed to help Hubs move forward; a focus on securing Arts Council funding for the future, clear and direct guidance so that schools can allow for curriculum, whole-class, instrumental and vocal teaching to take place safely including enabling ensemble music making for schools and music centres to recommence safely, as well as an increased means of supporting inclusion and enabling all young people to access music regardless of their circumstances.
Mr Bergin stated that funding needs to be in place now, so that music and the arts can continue to change lives, helping young people’s emotional and mental wellbeing and bringing communities together.
Dr Jodie Underhill, Research Associate for the ISM, briefly outlined the ISM’s recently commissioned global literature review which studies the current research and information relating to COVID-19, transmission and risk management in both the performance and music education space. She noted that the document is not intended to provide guidance but to highlight the information that is out there.
Deborah Annetts concluded that going forward the group needs be clear on the core messages around the importance of classroom education. Ms Annetts urged those involved in classroom education to work with the ISM to get the message right on why classroom education matters so that it does not get marginalised as a result of COVID-19. Ms Annetts shared her concern that COVID-19 could push forward the agenda around core subjects, which does not promote a broad and balanced education for children.
Please find the official minutes for the APPG for Music Education below
On Wednesday 16 October the APPG for Music Education held its annual general meeting. Due to another pressing commitment Diana Johnson, the APPG's regular chair, was unavailable so Lyn Brown, Member of Parliament for West Ham kindly deputised.
After the formal election/re-election of the officers, the first speaker, Sir Nicholas Serota, talked about the Durham Commission's report into creativity and education and explained the commissions' findings on how creativity has a extremely important role to play within schools. Bridget Whyte CEO of Music Mark then discussed the future of Music Education Hubs and how they are in need of increased funding and in danger of collapse if they are not provided with more money in the 2020 spending review. Finally, Dr Naomi Bath gave a speech on Brexit and how it may negatively affect music education in the UK. A brief Q&A was taken following the speeches.
The AGM for the APPG for Music Education will be held on 16 October 2019 on the Parliamentary Estate.
Please note this is not a public meeting. If you are interested in attending, please contact email@example.com.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education held its second meeting of 2019 on Wednesday 19 June. APPG Chair Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston upon Hull North, introduced Ian C. Lucas, MP for Wrexham and a member of the DCMS Select Committee, to talk about the Committee’s two latest reports, titled Live Music (March 2019) and The Social Impact of Participation in Culture and Sport (May 2019).
The meeting then heard from Zena Creed, Director of Communications and External Relations at The Russell Group who explained the recent changes to the Russell Group's subject choice guidance including the decision to drop facilitating subjects.
The meeting also heard from Dr Alison Daubney, Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Sussex who discussed Ofsted's new education inspection framework which will be introduced in September 2019. Dr Daubney also stated that music is the fastest disappearing A-Level subject, citing the recent research commissioned by the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. The research revealed that A-Level music uptake was most common amongst those who live in economically advantaged communities.
This was followed by questions which predominantly related to increasing funding and support in schools and music hubs as well as ensuring the government recognises the EBacc is damaging music in schools.
The APPG would like to thank everyone who attended for their contributions.
Download Dr Ally Daubney's presentation from the meeting.
Berlioz 150, the charity chaired by APPG Secretary Lord Aberdare, is organising a celebration event to mark the 150th anniversary of French composer Hector Berlioz’s death, which falls on 8 March 2019.
The event will be held at the French Institute in South Kensington in London on Thursday 7 March from 7:00 to 9:00pm.
Members of the APPG would be most welcome, together with a partner or guest if desired. If you are interested in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a ticket.
The APPG held its first meeting of 2019 on Monday 4 February, where it launched its State of the Nation report on music education in England. The report highlights the crisis in music education and the severe impact of Government policy around accountability measures such as the EBacc on music education in schools in England.
The meeting, attended by over 80 parliamentarians and leaders in the music education sector, saw widespread agreement on the need for strong action to combat the decline in music education at all levels of the education system.
In her speech opening the meeting, chair Diana Johnson MP said there was cross-party consensus on the urgent need to for reform to protect music education for future generations. The meeting then heard from Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and Duncan Mackrill, Senior Teaching Fellow in Education at the University of Sussex, who discussed the report in greater detail.
The meeting also heard from Carl Ward, Immediate Past President of the Association of School and College Leaders and Chief Executive of the City Learning Trust, who looked at the situation in secondary education, and Xhosa Cole, BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018, who discussed his experience of music education in the English state sector and its impact on his career.
This was followed by a lively discussion of the report and its recommendations. The APPG would like to thank everyone who attended for their contributions.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education, in partnership with the University of Sussex and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), has today (Monday 4 February) released a new report entitled Music Education: State of the Nation which outlines the broad landscape of music education in England.
The new report, authored by Dr Alison Daubney (University of Sussex), Gary Spruce (Birmingham City University) and Deborah Annetts (ISM) with foreword from Diana Johnson MP and Andrew Percy MP, is the culmination of several months rigorous research into both music education and the broader education landscape in England. Digging deep into the government’s own figures whilst also bringing together academic research, surveys and analysis of current trends, State of the Nation asks serious questions regarding the direction of travel of current education policy.
APPG for Music Education co-chairs Diana Johnson MP and Andrew Percy MP said:
‘This report shows the scale of the crisis facing music education in England. It shows how Government policy around accountability measures and the curriculum has contributed to a sharp decline in opportunities for pupils to have access to a music education. Its recommendations show the breadth of the problem – but also how easily the Government could act to address some of the most pressing issues, at little or no financial cost.’
Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:
‘This is an important report which we hope will guide policy makers in music education and also broader education policy. This report shines a spotlight on just how much the EBacc has already destroyed in terms of our children’s education. Notwithstanding the Government’s target of EBacc take up 75% rising to 90% by 2025, the rate of take up remains obstinately at 38%. And only 17% of students will actually attain the EBacc.
And yet, never has there been a time when creative subjects in school has been more necessary. We are facing the fourth industrial revolution where creativity is vital. Music contributes £4.5bn a year to the UK’s economy whilst the creative industries is worth £101.5 billion. Reinforcing the gravity of the situation is Brexit. As a country we will need to deploy our soft skills more than ever and this means music and our other stand out creative industries. We need an education system which is up to these challenges. Headline accountability measures such as the EBacc, which are based on the 1904 Secondary Regulations, are not it. We call on the Secretary of State, Damien Hinds to take a fresh look at the EBacc, the trail of devastation it has caused and take action.’
Dr Alison Daubney, PhD Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Sussex and Mr Gary Spruce, Visiting Lecturer in Music Education, Birmingham City University said:
‘The wealth of data upon which this report is founded highlights urgent issues which need to be addressed. Increasingly, music is marginalised in the school curriculum as the focus on accountability measures force them to make decisions which erode access to music education and diminish the workforce. In doing so, the evidence shows that music in the wider school and young people's lives beyond school is also negatively impacted. It is time the Department for Education recognise their policies are failing and they must take the necessary steps to ensure that sustained high quality music education for all is a reality and not, as is currently the case, increasingly the preserve of those families that can afford to pay for it.’
The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) acts as the secretariat to the Music Education APPG. This is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in this report are those of the group, the ISM and the University of Sussex.
Due to important Brexit votes expected to take place on Monday 21 January, the APPG has postponed its next meeting and report launch.
It will now be held at 5pm on Monday 4 February in the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, London SW1A 2LW.
At the rearranged meeting, the APPG will launch its report on music education in England. The report will address a wide range of issues affecting music education and propose solutions to some of the key policy problems affecting the sector.
The APPG will also hear from Xhosa Cole, who recently won BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018, and who will discuss his experience of music education in the state sector.
If you would be interested in attending, please email email@example.com.
We hope to see you there, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The APPG had its very successful AGM on 10 October in the House of Commons.
At the AGM, the following parliamentarians were elected as officers:
Chair and Registered Contact: Diana Johnson MP (Labour)
Co-Chair: Andrew Percy MP (Conservative)
Secretary: Lord Aberdare (Crossbench)
Treasurer: Baroness Finlay (Crossbench)
Vice Chairs: Sharon Hodgson MP (Labour), Nigel Evans MP (Conservative), Mark Prisk MP (Conservative), David Warburton MP (Conservative), Baroness Altmann (Conservative), Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Conservative)
The expenditure of the Group (purely support in kind from the secretariat) did not exceed the levels required for reporting in an income and expenditure statement.