Template letters

We have created two template letters for you to use to write to your MP about the following:

  • The impact of a no-deal Brexit on musicians
  • The impact of the EBacc on music and creative subjects

Template letter - The impact of a no-deal Brexit on musicians

{Your MP's name}

House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Dear {Your MP's name}

As a musician and one of your constituents, I am writing to you because I am extremely concerned about the impact a no-deal Brexit may have on my ability to work in the EU after the UK leaves on 31 October 2019.

The latest report from the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), the UK’s professional body for musicians, which founded the Save Music campaign, shows that the uncertainty over Brexit is already causing real damage to the music profession.

UK musicians like me rely heavily on the right of free movement within the EU27/EEA in order to be able to perform there. For many musicians, a substantial part of their earnings comes from performing in the EU27/EEA. In the event of a no-deal Brexit there will be significant uncertainty over the terms under which musicians can travel to the EU to perform and tour. This is a direct threat to the livelihoods of thousands of UK-based musicians, like myself, who rely on work in EU countries. A no-deal Brexit will also cause major disruption to the UK’s music industry which is worth £4.5 billion to the UK economy per year.

The ISM has calculated that musicians who travel to the EU27 and carry an instrument will incur additional costs of up to £1,000 per year in a no-deal Brexit. It is my understanding that this will include the purchasing of carnets for musical instruments and equipment; private medical insurance (as European Health Insurance (EHIC) provision would cease); an International Driving Permit; Musical Instrument Certificates, which will become the requirement for musicians carrying instruments containing endangered species according to CITES (such as ivory in a violin bow); and in the event that A1 forms become obsolete on 1 November, musicians would also become liable for double deductions of social security payments (paying UK national insurance and the social security of the EU country in question).

These costs will be impossible for most freelance musicians to meet given that they earn on average around £20,000 per year. They would simply be unable to allocate up to 5% of their earnings to additional costs in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Furthermore, if freedom of movement rights cease, musicians such as me hoping to tour the EU27/EEA would face the considerable financial and administrative burden of having to obtain a visa.

Please write to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and ask him that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, he guarantees that the Government will cover these costs in advance of 31 October, or at the very least provide a full compensation scheme to support musicians in the first three years following Brexit.

Yours sincerely

{Your name}

Template letter - Impact of the EBacc on music and creative subjects

{Your MP's name}

House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Dear {Your MP's name}

I am writing because I am concerned about the disappearance of creative subjects from our schools. This decline is largely due to the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), a headline accountability measure for schools in England which excludes creative subjects.

The case against the EBacc has never been stronger.

There is now compelling evidence from the University of Sussex, the BBC, the independent Education Policy Institute, and others that the EBacc is one of the principal causes of the decline in creative subjects in schools. In its report published on 19 March, the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee identified the exclusion of arts subjects from the EBacc as a key concern, recommending that arts subjects be added to the EBacc. Teachers are also concerned: in a recent letter to parents, more than 7,000 members of the headteachers’ campaign group Worth Less? referred to a more restricted curricular offer as one of their main concerns around Government education policy. At the same time, we know the EBacc is failing on its own terms: it is entered by just 38% of students in state-funded schools, against the Government’s target figure of 75% by 2022 and 90% by 2025.

The Department for Education’s position is that there is no decline, and that the take-up of creative subjects in our schools is “broadly stable”. But according to the Department’s own figures, the fall in creative subjects at GCSE since 2014/15 is nearly 20%, even when adjusted for the declining overall number of GCSE pupils. On no basis can this be called “broadly stable”. In fact, this is a crisis.

Increasing academisation is also playing its part in the disappearance of creative subjects from our schools. This is because academies do not have to follow the National Curriculum. Therefore creative subjects, which are part of the curriculum, are being marginalised from school timetables as schools concentrate their efforts on the EBacc.

I would therefore be very grateful if you could write to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, and ask him to do the following:

1. Undertake a thorough review of the EBacc and its negative impact on the availability of creative subjects in our maintained secondary schools.

2. Give clear guidance to all schools in the maintained sector, whether they are an academy or not, that all schools must deliver a broad and balanced curriculum which includes the creative subjects.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely

{Your name}