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.
AGM 10 October 2018
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.
annual general meeting 2018
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education will hold its AGM on Wednesday 10 October 2018.
Please note this is not a public meeting. If you would be interested in attending, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Education APPG