Curriculum Music: A National Picture


On 2oth March 2017, representatives from England’s Music Education Hubs, along with delegates from charities, arts organisations and schools, gathered at the Curriculum Music Conference to share their experiences of delivering and supporting curriculum music. As the event drew to a close, we asked delegates to answer three burning questions…

We asked: What are the main challenges facing curriculum music in primary schools?

  • “Time” / “Timetabling”
  • “Lack of Expertise” / “Lack of Confidence” / “Lack of Training” / “Isolation”
  • “Money” / “Funding” / “Resources”
  • “Opportunities”
  • “Head Teachers being anti-music”
  • “Lack of credibility. Compared to Maths and English – is it important?” / “Value”
  • “Diversity” / “Inclusion”
  • “Reliable evaluation of teaching and learning” / “Assessment”

We asked: What are the main challenges facing curriculum music in secondary schools?

  • “BTEC numbers & priority going down” / “GCSE take-up falling”
  • “GCSE options starting in Year 9”
  • “Paperwork expectations rising” / “Target setting” / “Assessment”
  • “Ebacc pushing music out”
  • “Academisation – is music a focus for the MAT?” / “Perceived value of music”
  • “Transition”
  • “Funding” / “Budget”

We asked: What are your priorities for curriculum music up to 2020?

  • “Keep music’s importance in the curriculum” / “Raise the status of curriculum music”
  • “Make sure music is actually being taught” / “Getting music back on the timetable”
  • “Better provision for autistic children” / “Making music accessible for all”
  • “Engagement with families, cultural and religious groups.” / “Getting parents involved”
  • “Raise awareness of the non-musical benefits of music”
  • “Improving confidence among non-specialists” / “CPD opportunities”
  • “Creating a musical culture in school” / “Lots of performances to give music visibility.”
  • “Teaching music meaningfully and musically”
  • “Developing cross-curricular links”

Do you teach or support curriculum music in UK schools? Do any of the issues above ring true for you? Are there any issues that have been missed? Share your thoughts via our Twitter or Facebook page.