Music in Schools debated in House of Lords


You can read a full transcript of the debate on Wednesday in the House of Lords Hansard transcript and watch it on the parliamentlive website (at 15.08.39).

The erosion of music in state schools was mentioned many times and the dreadful drop in pupils taking GCSE Music that now sits at only 5.5% on children.

A short summary of the debate:

Earl Clancarty opened the debate warning of the decline in uptake of GCSE music and highlighting two separate studies (from the University of Sussex and the Education Policy Institute) that identified the EBacc as one of the primary factors behind the rapid drop in uptake of creative subjects in the last two years.

Despite being told of these studies the responding Government Minister, Lord Agnew, said that there was ‘no evidence that arts subjects have declined as a result of the introduction of the EBacc.’ But he did agree to meet with members of the House of Lords to discuss their concerns.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall highlighted the importance of performing arts in helping to address child and adolescent mental health concerns.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire went on to raise concerned in relation to primary school music teachers, and in response to a concern raised about Bingley Grammar School charging pupils for access to GCSE Music, the minister confirmed that the school has stopped charging.

Lord Watson of Invergowrie also raised specific concerns regarding the uptake of music at GCSE.

The Minister’s final comments stated that the EBacc ‘provides an opportunity for children to have a shot at a good university.’

As additional information, the Russell Group’s Informed Choices document states that the EBacc ‘is not currently required for entry to any Russell Group university’ and there is currently no published evidence to support claims that EBacc subjects are more valuable.

The Campaign against the English Baccalaureate continues, please give it your support and sign the petition at: