Monday 15 October 2012

The missing pillar - music and the Ebacc

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has started their Bacc for the Future Campaign to persuade the Government to remedy plans for the the EBacc. Currently, plans indicated that the English Baccalaureate will require a pupil to have achieved a certificate in five subject areas, maths, English, sciences, languages (ancient and modern) and humanities (defined as only history or geography). This leaves music and the other practical arts out in the cold, with no incentive for the pupils to study them. There are already indications that such a change might have a poor effect on the number of children studying music.

All this is very puzzling, given the government's prior enthusiasm for music education and music hubs. Again, we do not seem to be seeing joined up thinking. There are suggestions that the entire English Baccalaureate plan may have been introduced too quickly without the necessary planning. Certainly it looks like a reaction to events rather than a coherent plan for the future. With general musical education in peril in the public sector, removing music from the compulsory curriculum could have a terrible effect.

The CBI, Creative Industries Council and Darren Henley (who led the Government's review of music eduction) have expressed concern and the ISM's campaign has the support of such prominent practitioners as Tasmin Little and Julian Lloyd-Webber (founder of In Harmony - Sistema England).

The suggestion is that a sixth pillar, for the creative arts, be added to the plan. More information from the ISM's website, and there is an on-line petition.

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