Gibb: Music can co-exist with EBacc uptake

During a speech at the Mayor of London’s Summit on School Music, Schools Minister Nick Gibb has declared that a good music education should be at the heart of every school in England and that quality should not be affected by the uptake of EBacc GCSE subjects.

Gibb explained that despite the government’s efforts to focus on an increased uptake of EBacc subjects, there is ‘no reason why this should imperil the status of arts subjects such as music’.

The Schools Minister cited official figures which suggested that since the EBacc was announced the number of school pupils entered for at least one GCSE in an arts subject had increased, along with entries to music GCSE.

Commenting on some of the initiatives the government is implementing, Gibbs said: “Funding for our highly successful music hubs, is remaining at £75 million in 2016 to 2017. Nearly £11.7 million of that will go to hubs in London.

“Here in London there is the marvellous Mayor’s Music Fund for Young Londoners. This provides four-year scholarships to children who show significant musical ability and a real commitment to developing their talent, but whose families do not have the financial means to support ongoing tuition.”

Arguing against critics of the EBacc which have claimed careers in the arts have become ‘the preserve of the privileged’, Gibb maintained the government would continue to fund over 500 full-time places through the Music and Dance Scheme.

Gibbs said: “Music is also an academic subject, and the new national curriculum ensures that it will be taught as such. It sets the expectation that pupils will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians.”

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