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Music to be retained in statutory National Curriculum

Music education will be retained in a statutory form on the school curriculum, according to the recommendations from the review of the National Curriculum’s Expert Panel.
It comes after music professionals, teachers and the industry lobbied the government for the subject to be kept as a core part of teaching.
However, the recommendations do add that the level of detail covered by the subject must be closely monitored, as the panel also agreed to keep other subjects including art, geography, history and ICT.
The purpose of the National Curriculum review is to slim down the number of subjects studied. Therefore, music education could be reclassified as part of the Basic Curriculum, which would leave it up to schools to decide on what content of music education they would deliver and there would be no attainment targets.
Music education will be a foundation subject at Key Stages 1-3, or for all pupils to the age of 14.
The panel adds, however, that it believes music and art should be compulsory at Key Stage 4, as a combined subject.
“Bearing in mind the influence that the EBacc [English Baccalaureate] is having on the provision of academic courses in Key Stage 4 for a larger proportion of pupils,” the review states, “we are concerned, as in primary education, that the role of art and music in a broad, balanced and effective education should not be lost.”
It added that the reason behind this is the ‘substantial evidence’ that music education benefits individuals and their communities, through pupil engagement, cognitive development and achievement in other subjects.
The Music Industries Association, which lobbied alongside other music organisations for the subject to be retained in the curriculum and form part of the Ebacc, welcomed the review.
But according to MiPro, it raised concerns about assessment formats, which the review did not address. It also highlighted the lack of music teachers available in the UK.

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