Why Lady Barran is wrong to dismiss ‘crisis’ in creative subjects in… Jump to main content

Why Lady Barran is wrong to dismiss ‘crisis’ in creative subjects in schools

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM, has written to Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School System), following a recent debate in the Lords on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and creative subjects in schools. During the debate, Lady Barran stated: ‘We simply do not accept that there is a crisis in creative subjects,’ which the ISM believes underestimates the problems facing music education in English schools.

The letter draws on findings from the ISM's recent report, Music: A subject in peril?, which shows that music has been badly damaged as a subject by years of underfunding and the effects of accountability measures such as the EBacc and Progress 8. It also points out concerns over the recent Schools White Paper, which has moved from talking about a 'broad and balanced' curriculum to a 'broad and ambitious' one, suggesting a possible narrowing of focus away from creative subjects such as music.

Finally, the letter asks what has happened to the refreshed New Plan for Music Education (NPME), which was due to be published in early 2022, and requests an assurance that the government will keep its promise to consult teachers on the contents of the draft NPME before it is finalised.