The National Curriculum for England

new National Curriculum for Music comes into effect in England from September 2014:

1. An assessment and progression framework for music

We have published an assessment and progression framework, complete with wall chart, to help you prepare for the new National Curriculum.


Working with teaching unions, curriculum experts and school leaders, we have prepared a document which can sit alongside those produced by other subject associations which will help you understand assessment and progression in the new National Curriculum.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM: ‘As a subject association, it is crucial that we support music teachers as they get to grips with the new National Curriculum and continue to ensure that opportunities for a rich, broad and balanced education are maintained. We will be working with school leaders, unions and other associations to ensure that this reaches every music teacher in England and secure the future of music.’

To run alongside the publishing of this framework, we have held several one-day seminars led by Dr Alison Daubney on Progression, Curriculum and Assessment focusing on both primary and secondary school teaching. Keep an eye on our webinar schedule for free online sessions with Dr Alison Daubney and Dr Martin Fautley.

2. How to prepare for the new National Curriculum for Music

We have also published a number of guides to help you prepare for the new National Curriculum.

3. And don't forget, Ofsted expect music to be part of the school curriculum

Ofsted expect music to be regularly taught in Key Stage 3 and have stated this explicitly in their triennial review of music education. Here are some key extracts from their report Music in schools: wider still and wider:

'Common reasons for inadequate [our emphasis] judgements of music teaching included insufficient time allocated by schools for music in Key Stage 3.'

'In too many instances [at Key Stage 3], decisions taken by a school to reduce time for music adversely affected the breadth and depth of curriculum coverage.'

'In secondary schools, music provision was weakened by whole-school decisions to reduce time for the Key Stage 3 programme so that it was not possible to cover sufficient breadth or depth of music across the key stage.'

More from this report can be found on the Ofsted website and the we have also produced a summary report of the recommendations.

Background information