Industry warning on school music

Survey shows growing gap between state and private schools

The lack of music provision in state schools risks depriving the industry of future talent, according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

A survey carried out by the organisation, which represents UK record labels, shows that 21% of teachers in state schools witnessed a decrease in music provision over the past five years. Those in private schools said they have seen a net increase of 7% over the same period.

The survey of 2,200 teachers also shows that just one in eight of the most deprived schools have an orchestra, compared with 85% of independent schools. It also found that 64% of schools serving disadvantaged communities give students a chance to take part in a school musical or musical play, compared with 91% of the most affluent state schools and 96% of independent schools.

“These BPI findings make us profoundly concerned that music education and tuition in state schools is beginning to lag far behind that in the independent sector" said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI. This inequality is not just deeply unfair to children in the state sector, it risks depriving our culture of future talents as diverse as Adele, Stormzy and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

“It is clear that government needs to inject additional funding for musical instrument tuition in state schools and to recognise music as a core component of a child’s education, one which should be reflected in Ofsted’s judgement of a school’s performance.”


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