BBC News says that music “could face extinction” as a subject in secondary schools in England, researchers have warned as it is squeezed out by the new Ebacc, which is a measure in school league tables. A five year survey by Sussex University of 657 state and 48 private schools found that schools found that schools offering Music BTEC level 2 fell from 166 in 2012 to just 50 in 2016, and the number offering music GCSE falling from 85% to 79% over the same period.
Whereas music was compulsory in 84% of schools for 13- 14 year olds in 2012, four years later this figure had fallen to 62%. Furthermore 39% of the teachers reported cuts to music staff numbers, while only 17% reported increases.
In 30% of secondary schools the music department consisted of just one teacher, up from 22% five years ago, the survey found. NasUwt teachers’ union say that all non-EBacc subjects, including music, are being restricted, with specialist teachers having their hours cut, being made redundant or not being replaced when they left. Their general secretary Chris Keates said “Increasingly, where music lessons or activities are offered by schools, these are at a charge, thereby restricting access.” Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the ISM urged ministers “to listen to the evidence before any more damage is done.”