Template letters

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

  • Impact of the EBacc on music and creative subjects
  • The need for freedom of movement post-Brexit for musicians

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

[[Your MP name]]

House of Commons

London SW1A 0AA

Dear [[MP 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]]

Template letter - The need for freedom of movement post-Brexit for musicians

[[Your MP's name]]

House of Commons

London SW1A 0AA

Dear [[Your MP's name]]

As a constituent, I am writing to ask you to protect musicians’ ability to work in the EU after Brexit.

Please read this latest report (http://bit.ly/ISMBrexitreport) from The Incorporated Society of Musicians, the UK’s professional body for musicians, which shows that the uncertainty over Brexit is already causing real damage to the sector.

The ISM research shows that:

• Almost 50% of respondents identified an impact on their professional work since the EU referendum result in 2016 – 95% of whom said it was negative (from 19% in 2016, to 26% in 2017, to 40% in 2018, and to 50% in 2019)

• 63% of respondents cited difficulty in securing future work in EU27/EEA countries as the biggest issue they face due to Brexit – and more than 1 in 10 respondents reported that offers of work have been withdrawn or cancelled with Brexit given as a reason.

• 85% of survey respondents visit the EU27/EEA for work at least once a year, 22% visit the EU27/EEA more than 11 times per year and more than a third (35%) spend at least a month per year working in EU27/EEA countries.

• 64% of survey respondents said a two-year, multi-entry visa would allay their concerns about their future ability to work in the EU27/EEA if freedom of movement rights were lost

• More than half of respondents (58%) reported that they were concerned about the transportation of instruments and/or equipment in the EU27 & EEA in the future.

I commend this report's findings to you and if you agree with them, please tweet your support by sharing a link to the report using the #savemusic hashtag.

Please also write to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union asking them to ensure musicians’ mobility rights are protected after Brexit - either by ensuring full freedom of movement for working musicians, or implementing a two year multi-entry visa for musicians as part of the UK's future relationship with the EU27/EEA.

Such a visa would allow musicians to tour between the UK and EU for two years without the administrative and financial cost of obtaining new visas.

If you have any further questions about this policy area, please email the ISM's Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager, Robert Cann at [email protected].

Yours sincerely

[[Your name]]