Music A-Level and GCSE Results 2018: facts & figures


This year in the UK, A Level Results were published on the 16th August, and GCSE Results followed on the 23rd August. The figures published give us important statistics on the uptake of music, along with other creative subjects.

As feared and predicted. there has been a clear shift away from the arts, modern languages and a handful of social sciences at both GCSEs and A-levels.

Here’s some facts and figures for this year…


  • Uptake in all creative subjects has declined by 11% compared to a decline of 2.6% in A-Level entries overall in the last five years
  • Music is at risk of disappearing from A-Level classrooms in state schools across England because of budget constraints
  • Music was the most common subject cited as being scrapped in 2018, as colleges can no longer afford to run courses with small student numbers.
  • Boys got better grades than girls in A-Level Music
  • With the Department for Education determined to pursue the EBacc despite evidence clearly demonstrating how damaging it has been to creative subjects, this trend is only likely to get worse.


  • There has been a huge 15.1% decline in the uptake of GCSE music since 2016
  • In the past year alone there has been a 7.4% drop in the number of GCSE entries in music
  • Almost two thirds of 650 state school teachers, surveyed by Sussex University researchers, said the EBacc meant fewer students were taking GCSE music.
  • Music was compulsory for students aged 13 to 14 in 84% of schools in 2012/13, but this figure had fallen to 62% by 2016/17.
  • In 30% of secondary schools the music department now consists of just one teacher, an increase from 22% five years ago.

As you know, the MIA strongly believes in the importance of children retaining curriculum-based music as part of the school day.

We continue to support the Bacc for the Future campaign, which highlights that more than ever we need a comprehensive education policy which will give our students a varied, fulfilling education- The EBacc simply isn’t it.

We will of course continue to champion and lobby the need for statutory music education in the UK. – have you signed up to support this campaign yet? Using the link, you can sign the petition, write to your MP, and download the campaign resources.