Music removed from school's curriculum - ISM/Bacc for the Future statement

A school in Essex has cut its weekly music lessons for children aged between 11 and 13 from its timetable due to funding pressures that has left them unable to replace one of two music teachers at the school, its headteacher has said.

The Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport, near Saffron Walden, plans to replace music with a few music workshops.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of Incorporated Society of Musicians and Founder of the Bacc for the Future campaign said:

'Cuts to school budgets has thrown the harmful impact of the EBacc into sharp focus. The news that a school has felt under pressure to remove music from the timetable for Year 7 and 8 to balance their budget is becoming common, as revealed in research and also personal testimony from teachers at the Telegraph Festival of Education.

Although the headmaster at this Essex Academy is trying hard to keep GCSE music as an option in the school with the introduction of a few music days, the removal of music from the timetable is severely limiting the opportunities open to children at this important stage of their education.

Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of Ofsted, was absolutely correct at the Telegraph Festival of Education last week when she said, “We have a full and coherent national curriculum and it seems to me a huge waste not to use it properly. The idea that children will not, for example, hear or play the great works of classical musicians or learn about the intricacies of ancient civilisations – all because they are busy preparing for a different set of GCSEs – would be a terrible shame. All children should study a broad and rich curriculum. Curtailing key stage 3 means prematurely cutting this off for children who may never have an opportunity to study some of these subjects again."'

The ISM's Head of External Affairs talked to BBC Radio Essex about Joyce Frankland Academy's announcement - listen back from 02:12:00.