Music out of the National Curriculum

On other matters, the Education White Paper (titled ‘The Importance of Teaching’) is published around 12.30pm today. I hope to make detailed comments on this tomorrow (in respect of music, and, possibly, ITE).

Anyway, here is my prediction.

Music will not be part of the new National Curriculum. It will fall outside the 50% of prescribed core subjects that Gove wants to legislate for. He says that in slimming the curriculum down schools will have more time to other things – he even mentioned Music as one of those ‘other things’ in his Radio 4 Today programme interview this morning.

I say that removing Music from the core entitlement of a child’s education will damage, irrevocably, the entitlement that all children have to receive a coherent, systematic and development music education. Whilst some will harp back to successes in music education within a previous golden era prior to a National Curriculum and the entitlement it represents, I say that times have changed. Many headteachers will conveniently ignore Music as a subject area within the curriculum, and leave it to a mish-mash of private, unregulated, extra-curricular provision for music (for ‘music’ here read ‘instrumental learning’) delivered by unqualified teachers.

I look forward to retracting this statement around 1pm if the White Paper tells us something else. Please don’t call me a pessimist. I really hope I’m wrong. I’m also disappointed that other leaders in the field of music education have not publicly expressed their own views on this disgraceful policy.


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