UK Music

UK Music welcomes new National Plan to shape the future of music education

The government has asked music industry experts to consult on music education ahead of their proposed refresh of the National Plan.

Bekki Bemrose
  • By Bekki Bemrose
  • 10 Feb 2020
  • min read

The plan will help level up opportunities for children from all backgrounds to take part in musical education, including the chance to learn how to play an instrument, perform in a choir or band, and develop a love of music.

The government also wants to keep up with advances in technology over how music is created, recorded and produced.

UK Music has in recent years highlighted a worrying divide between opportunities to do music in state schools – where 93 per cent of our children are educated – as opposed to private schools. A total of 17 per cent of music creators were educated at independent schools, compared to 7 per cent across the population. 50 per cent of children at independent schools received sustained music tuition, whilst the figure for state schools is only 15 per cent.

Tom Kiehl, acting chief executive officer, UK Music, said: ‘We have consistently warned of a growing crisis in our talent pipeline as a result of a decline in music in state education – a new National Plan for Music Education presents a once in a decade opportunity to fix music in schools.

‘Over the past five years, the number of people studying A-level music has declined by an alarming 30 per cent, while the total number of people studying A-levels dropped by only 4 per cent over the same period. We need to take advantage of a new Plan to invest in our future.

‘The UK music industry is worth £5.2 billion to the economy and employs over 190,000 but to sustain growth there are a number of steps the Government should take with a new National Plan.

‘Universal access to music within state education should be prioritised, alongside a broad-based music education within curriculum learning. “Music in schools should be incentivised through the OFSTED inspections framework. Greater provision for rehearsal spaces, such as the UK Music network, should be taken forward. The new Plan should also be informed by an independent analysis of Music Education Hubs.

‘UK Music welcomes this positive action from the Government and will engage constructively with the consultation.’

The refreshed National Plan will be published in autumn 2020 and will build on the current plan which was first published in 2011, which sets out our ambitious vision for music education for all children in England.