10/02/2020: UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl has welcomed Government plans to consult on a new National Plan for Music Education.
The existing National Plan was first published in 2011 and is due to expire this year.
The National Plan is designed to set a framework for how schools, local authorities and teachers support music in education.
UK Music has in recent years highlighted a worrying divide between opportunities to do music in state schools – where 93 per cent of our children are educated – as opposed to private schools. A total of 17 per cent of music creators were educated at independent schools, compared to 7 per cent across the population as a whole. 50 per cent of children at independent schools received sustained music tuition, whilst the figure for state schools is only 15 per cent.
Commenting on the announcement of a New Plan, Mr Kiehl said:
“We have consistently warned of a growing crisis in our talent pipeline as a result of a decline in music in state education – a new National Plan for Music Education presents a once in a decade opportunity to fix music in schools.
“Over the past five years, the number of people studying A-level music has declined by an alarming 30 per cent, while the total number of people studying A-levels dropped by only 4 per cent over the same period. We need to take advantage of a new Plan to invest in our future.
“The UK music industry is worth £5.2 billion to the economy and employs over 190,000 but to sustain growth there are a number of steps the Government should take with a new National Plan.
“Universal access to music within state education should be prioritised, alongside a broad-based music education within curriculum learning.
“Music in schools should be incentivised through the OFSTED inspections framework. Greater provision for rehearsal spaces, such as the UK Music network, should be taken forward. The new Plan should also be informed by an independent analysis of Music Education Hubs.
“UK Music welcomes this positive action from the Government and will engage constructively with the consultation.”
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