A-level results day: continued decline in music uptake

A-level results published today by the Joint Council for Qualifications show that the uptake of music at A-level continues to decline, a worrying trend over the last five years that shows no signs of abating.

Since 2014 there has been a 30.2% decline in music entries at A-level.

Furthermore, a smaller percentage of students attained the top grades in music in 2019 compared to all A-level subjects. A total of 19.4% of pupils achieved A*-A grades in music compared to 25.5% for all subjects.

A-level results were awarded to students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland today.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said:

‘Well done to students on their hard work and achievements in A-level music this year. However, we remain deeply concerned by the continuing fall in uptake in music at A level: 30.2% over the past five years.

With the Department for Education determined to pursue the EBacc despite the overwhelming evidence of how damaging it has been to creative subjects including music, this trend is likely to continue. We continue to urge the Government to completely rethink the EBacc; without a change in direction, this highly flawed policy will continue to devastate creative subjects such as music in our schools.