The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...

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The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...
The heart of the
school is missing
Music education in the COVID-19 crisis

                     ISM_music     ISM_music   ism_musicians
                     ISMusicians   ISM_music    -society-of-musicians
The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...
Xx                                                                                               CONTENTS
                                                                                                 Executive summary                                    2

                                                                                                 Headline findings                                    4

                                                                                                 Background                                           5

                                                                                                 The impact of COVID-19                              11

                                                                                                 Future challenges                                   24

                                                                                                 Rethinking education                                25

                                                                                                 Recommendations                                     26

                                                                                                 Footnotes                                           27

                                                                                                 More information about this research is available
                                                                                                 in the separate Appendix on request.

                                                                                                 Report by Dr Jodie Underhill, Research Associate

B   The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis   DECEMBER 2020
The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...
Executive summary
                                                                                                                                           The late publication of safe music teaching guidance in England     to the recovery curriculum, playing a vital role in schools
                                                                                                                                           left schools struggling to implement mitigating measures ahead      helping their students to explore and express the varied
                                                                                                                                           of schools returning and a lack of consistency in Government        emotions and challenges that they will have experienced
                                                                                                                                           guidance across the UK has resulted in Scottish schools being       during the pandemic, building stronger relationships and
                                                                                                                                           particularly negatively affected. In Scotland, restrictions on      communities within schools and with families. The creative
                                                                                                                                           singing and playing brass and wind instruments have meant that      industries, now worth more than £111 billion to the UK
                                                                                                                                           pupils learning these instruments have not been able to continue    economy, rely heavily on the pipeline of creative talent from
The ISM has produced this report to                                      cases in schools.1 Different approaches by UK Governments,        lessons in the same way that their peers in England, Wales and      schools which has been essential in creating the UK’s world-
                                                                         particularly in relation to summer exams in 2021, have caused     Northern Ireland have. The absence of specific guidance for safe    renowned music industry.7 This is why on 11 August 2020,
look at the impact COVID-19 has had                                      concerns of further educational inequalities between pupils       music teaching in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has also     the ISM along with Music Mark and the Music Teachers’
on music in schools. The report                                          living in different regions or experiencing different levels      disadvantaged schools in these countries in terms of extra-         Association launched a UK-wide campaign, #CanDoMusic,
                                                                         of restrictions. In November 2020, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector       curricular provision and instrumental learning.                     to ensure all children and young people could resume their
includes findings from our survey of                                     suggested that exams in England could take place solely for                                                                           musical learning by providing practical ideas and resources.8
UK music teachers exploring their                                        core subjects with centre-assessed grades for other subjects,
                                                                         creating a hierarchy of qualifications and a devaluing of non-      Prior to COVID-19, music education across all four                Whilst we are facing an unprecedented crisis in music
experiences during this time.                                            core subjects.2 Additional measures to support exam pupils          nations was already facing significant challenges.                education, COVID-19 also provides us with a pivotal moment
                                                                         in England were announced by the Secretary of State for                                                                               for reflection and an opportunity to reset education policy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to               Education on 3 December 2020 although full details will not be    However, this erosion of music education in our schools             We have a potential opening in which to build a curriculum
our education system and teachers are working incredibly                 published until early 2021.3                                      is part of a much longer trend. Prior to COVID-19, music            which puts young people’s needs first, championing creative
hard in these challenging times, showing flexibility and                                                                                   education across all four nations was already facing significant    learning in addition to science, technology, English and
professionalism and consistently adapting in order to provide               All aspects of music education are being impacted              challenges. Music Education: State of the Nation (2019)             maths (STEM) and addressing the needs of young people
opportunities for young people to make and create music.                                                                                   published by the ISM, the University of Sussex and the All-         in the post-COVID-19 world. It also offers the opportunity
                                                                           – curriculum entitlement, singing in schools,
                                                                                                                                           Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education, captured the         to revisit the nature and purpose of assessments to ensure
                                                                            practical music making, extra-curricular activities,
In March 2020, schools across the UK and around the world                                                                                  crisis facing music education in England.4 The study found          young people are fully equipped for the future.
                                                                            instrumental learning and examinations.
closed to slow the spread of the virus. Many schools moved                                                                                 that Government policy had significantly negatively impacted
to remote learning and started using online resources where                                                                                music education through factors including the English               This report lays out recommendations for governments
possible. However, many pupils lacked access to technology.              We are extremely concerned about the impact of COVID-19,          Baccalaureate (EBacc) accountability measure and statutory          across all four nations to address the significant challenges
Our survey found that music education, in some cases, only               particularly as music teaching has been singled out as            English and maths tests in primary schools. Despite 18              facing music education both in the short term and
became available through instrumental lessons for those                  problematic within both school and extra-curricular               recommendations outlined in the State of the Nation report,         moving forward into a post-COVID-19 world. First, all UK
families who could afford them or had the technology in                  guidance. Following issues raised by a large number of            and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)               Governments must ensure that they demonstrate clear
place for remote learning.                                               teachers, we created a survey for primary, secondary and          calling on the Government to respond to them, to date none          leadership through actively encouraging safe music
                                                                         instrumental music teachers to share their experiences so         of them have been addressed or implemented.                         teaching in schools and the wider community. Clear, timely
The focus then turned towards the full re-opening of schools             that we could better understand the landscape.                                                                                        and consistent guidance is also needed to ensure young
and preparing for the new academic year. We welcomed all UK                                                                                UK-wide issues including lack of funding, widening                  people’s opportunities to make and create music are not
Governments’ commitment to maintaining a broad, balanced                 Collated from over 1300 responses across the UK music             gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students                  disrupted or curtailed. Consistent approaches to exams
and meaningful curriculum in their guidance documents for                teaching profession working in schools, our survey findings       (particularly for instrumental tuition), falling teacher training   and assessments for 2021 and 2022 must also be adopted,
the return to schools. Music is an integral part of the curriculum       reveal the detrimental impact that COVID-19 is having on music    and recruitment numbers and a continuing decrease in                ensuring core subjects are not prioritised over other subjects
in each UK jurisdiction providing access to high quality music           education. All aspects of music education are being impacted      the uptake of music examination courses have also been              and governments must guarantee that pupils sitting music
education in primary and secondary schools and opening up                – curriculum entitlement, singing in schools, practical music     identified in other important publications such as What’s           assessments in summer 2021 are not disadvantaged by the
pathways for further study regardless of a pupil’s background            making, extra-curricular activities, instrumental learning and    Going On Now? in Scotland5, Music Services Feasibility Study in     pandemic and instead rewarded for their achievements.
or ability to pay. However, the inconsistencies in guidance for          examinations. Our survey findings also suggest that music         Wales, and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Music Strategy      Longer term, governments must commit to providing high
reopening schools across the four nations coupled with last              teachers’ health and well-being is being negatively affected by   2013-18 in Northern Ireland.6                                       quality music education for all pupils through National Plans
minute updates gave music educators little time to interpret             the changes they are experiencing in the delivery of classroom                                                                        for Music Education, address the continued narrowing of
and make sense of the information.                                       and extra-curricular music and the amount of support they         When considering the value music education plays in young           the curriculum and ensure music teacher training routes
                                                                         have received from their schools.                                 people’s lives, there is genuine cause for alarm. Beyond the        are properly funded. COVID-19 must not allow the further
Challenges emerged in the Autumn term regarding the                                                                                        intrinsic value of studying music for its own sake, there is        erosion of music education in the UK and could provide a
implementation of Government guidance, school organisation               The survey also highlights the inequalities in music              a plethora of evidence that studying music builds cultural          pivotal moment of reset for education policy.
and mitigating measures. Large numbers of pupils have                    education that have developed not only between pupils             knowledge, creative skills and improves children’s health,
needed to isolate due to the rising numbers of COVID-19                  from different backgrounds but also between UK countries.         wellbeing and wider educational attainment. Music is central

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The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...
Headline findings
The survey of UK music teachers was launched on
Monday 7 September 2020 and ran until 5 October                                                                     SOME PUPILS ARE NOT RECEIVING          Music teachers are having to alter
2020. Within that time frame, 1307 responses were                                                                   CURRICULUM MUSIC AS A DIRECT           their day-to-day teaching by re-
received by the ISM.
                                                                                                                    RESULT OF COVID-19                     writing schemes of work, teaching
                                                                                                                                                           in non-specialist classrooms and
                                                                                                                                                           having to teach other subjects in
    Music provision is being reduced
    as a direct result of COVID-19
                                                                            Singing, practical music making,
                                                                            extra-curricular activities and         A L MOS T          of primary
                                                                                                                                       and secondary
                                                                                                                                                           place of music
                                                                            instrumental lessons are all
                                                                                                                    10%                schools are not

    68%                                                                                                                                                    86%
                                                                            being negatively affected                                  teaching class                          of secondary
                                                                                                                                       music at all                            music
                                                                            Teachers report that extra-curricular
                                                                            activities are no longer taking

                                                                                                                                                                               report that
    OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS                                              place in                                                  of English
                                                                                                                                                           they have re-written schemes

                                                                            72% & 66%
    and                                                                                                                               secondary school
                                                                                                                                                           of work due to COVID-19

                                                                                                                                      teachers say
                                                                                                                                      that pupils are

                                                                            OF PRIMARY              OF SECONDARY    not receiving classroom music                                of secondary
                                                                            SCHOOLS                 SCHOOLS
                                                                                                                    throughout Key Stage 3 as a                                  music teachers
    OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS                                                                                    continuing result of the EBacc                               report that
                                                                                                                    accountability measure                 they have no access at all to
    report a reduction in music                                             During the 2020/21 academic year,                                              specialist music classrooms
    provision as a direct result of                                         face-to-face instrumental lessons
    the pandemic                                                            are not continuing in                   Music teachers’ health and

                                                                            35% & 28%                                                                      43%
                                                                                                                    wellbeing are being negatively                              of music
                                                                                                                    impacted through the changes they                           teachers
A full breakdown of the survey results is available on                                                              are experiencing in the delivery of                         are required
request from                                             OF PRIMARY              OF SECONDARY
                                                                                                                    classroom and extra-curricular music   to move between non-specialist
                                                                            SCHOOLS                 SCHOOLS
                                                                                                                    and the amount of support they are     classrooms to teach some or all
                                                                                                                    receiving from their schools           music this academic year

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The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...
The recommendations of this report
                                                                         •	Demonstrate clear leadership,
relate to the current situation in UK                                       through actively encouraging
school music departments as a result of                                     music teaching in schools and the
COVID-19, the continued decline of music                                    wider community safely, in line
in schools prior to the pandemic and the                                    with government guidance and
measures which need to be put in place                                      using external resources available
to address them. Based on the findings                                      through #CanDoMusic.                  In addition, the DfE in England should:   The Learning Directorate in Scotland should:
of this report, the ISM calls for all four UK
Governments to:                                                          •	Provide clear, timely and               •	
                                                                                                                      Reinstate bursaries for                  Urgently revisit their singing, brass
                                                                            consistent guidance to facilitate         postgraduate music Initial               and wind guidance in light of further
                                                                            music teaching in schools and the         Teacher Training/Education               scientific studies, to allow all pupils to
                                                                            wider community for the rest of           courses from 2021 onwards.               continue their instrumental learning.
                                                                            the 2020/21 academic year and
                                                                            beyond to ensure young people’s         •	
                                                                                                                      Publish the refreshed National
                                                                            opportunities to make and create          Plan for Music Education and           The Department for Education and Skills in Wales should:
                                                                            music is not disrupted further.           model music curriculum as soon
                                                                                                                      as possible.                             Commit to a National Plan for
                                                                         •	Adopt a consistent approach                                                        Music Education and provide a
                                                                            to exams and assessments for            •	
                                                                                                                      Ensure funding for Music Education       publication date.
                                                                            2021 and 2022 ensuring that               Hubs is allocated from April 2021
                                                                            core subjects are not prioritised         onwards as a matter of urgency.
                                                                            over other subjects creating an                                                  The Department of Education in Northern Ireland should:

                                                                            unnecessary hierarchy.                  •	Implement the 18
                                                                                                                       recommendations contained               Address the barriers to access for
                                                                         •	Guarantee that pupils sitting music        within the All-Party Parliamentary      further music study and career paths
                                                                            assessments in summer 2021 are             Group’s State of the Nation report      resulting from the decline of GCSE
                                                                            rewarded for their achievements            (2019), including reforming the         and A Level music uptake.
                                                                            and that none are disadvantaged by         EBacc, which were supported by
                                                                            the coronavirus pandemic.                  the DCMS Select Committee.

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The heart of the school is missing - Music education in the COVID-19 crisis DECEMBER 2020 - Incorporated Society of ...
                                                                                                                                            The introduction of the English Baccalaureate in 2010 has            The DCMS Select Committee report, Changing Lives: the social
                                                                                                                                            contributed to the decline in music education. An accountability     impact of participation in culture and sport published in May
                                                                                                                                            measure, not a stand-alone qualification, the EBacc excludes         2019, criticised the downgrading of arts subjects in both
                                                                                                                                            creative, artistic and technical subjects such as Music, Drama       English and Welsh schools, stating that they were ‘deeply
                                                                                                                                            and Design and Technology. This disincentivises schools to           concerned’ by the evidence presented to them and calling on
                                                                                                                                            offer Arts subjects if the focus on the EBacc is crucial for the     Government to take action.17 The report states that,
                                                                                                                                            school’s accountability. Many schools have moved to a two-
Music education                                                         had a negative impact on curriculum music provision. More
                                                                        than 50 per cent of the responding schools were not meeting
                                                                                                                                            year Key Stage 3 to enable pupils to cover the sheer amount
                                                                                                                                            of content in EBacc subjects, further eroding curriculum music.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ‘We remain deeply concerned about the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gap between the Government’s reassuring
before COVID-19                                                         the curriculum requirements in Year 6, citing the pressure of       Research by Ofsted found that around half of schools had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rhetoric and the evidence presented to us of
                                                                        statutory tests as a significant reason for this. These findings    moved to a two-year Key Stage 3 model which had resulted in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the decline in music provision in state schools,
                                                                        were supported by Ofsted observations.10 Opportunities to           the marginalisation of practical and creative subjects.14 This has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    for which the EBacc is blamed and which
Curriculum music                                                        sing and the prevalence of singing in primary schools had           led to inequalities of opportunity for many pupils. In response
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    affects students from less advantaged socio-
                                                                        also diminished since Government funding for the National           to the issues highlighted across music education, the DfE
Music is a compulsory part of the curriculum across the UK. In          Singing Programme ‘Sing Up’ was cut in 2011.                        commissioned a non-statutory ‘model music curriculum’ in 2019           economic backgrounds disproportionately. We
England, state-funded schools follow the National Curriculum                                                                                but it is yet to materialise and there is no evidence to suggest        commend, therefore, the work of the All-Party
(NC) from ages 5–14 (Key Stages 1–3). Academies and Free                                                                                    that it will impact upon the systemic problems highlighted.             Parliamentary Group for Music Education
                                                                           Increasingly, schools were moving towards arts
Schools in England must also offer a broad and balanced                                                                                                                                                             in pursuing these issues further and would
                                                                           subjects only being offered on a ‘carousel’, with
curriculum, including music, but they do not have follow the                                                                                Figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) show a          welcome sight of the Government’s response
                                                                           music only offered for part of the academic year
NC. In Scotland, the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) applies to                                                                             continued decline in music entries for both GCSE and A Level            to each of the 18 recommendations in its recent
                                                                           on a rotation with other subjects
children aged 3–18 with music as part of the Expressive Arts                                                                                over the past decade. Since 2010, there has been a 25 per cent          report Music Education: State of the Nation.’
curriculum area in the Broad General Education phase (ages                                                                                  decline in pupils taking GCSE music and a 43 per cent decline
3–13/14). In the 2008 Curriculum for Wales, music is part of            Secondary school music provision also faced decline as a            in those taking A Level music.15* This is despite the Minister for
Creative Development in the Foundation stage (3–7 years                 curriculum subject. Based on longitudinal research since 2012       School Standards, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, telling the Department
old) and a stand-alone subject for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage            from the University of Sussex and a range of other sources,         for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee in
3 (7–14 years old). A new Curriculum for Wales Framework                the report found that music was no longer being taught              December 2018 that the take-up of arts GCSEs had remained
was published in January 2020 covering pupils aged 3–16 for             across Key Stage 3 (pupils aged 11–14) in more than 50 per          ‘broadly stable’ at around 44 per cent and that the Government,
implementation from September 2022. Music will become                   cent of state-funded secondary schools. Increasingly, schools       ‘…take music and the arts extremely seriously.’16
part of the Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience.            were moving towards arts subjects only being offered on a
The Northern Ireland Curriculum covers Foundation Stage                 ‘carousel’, with music only offered for part of the academic
and Key Stages 1–4 (ages 4–16). Music is a statutory part of            year on a rotation with other subjects such as dance, drama
The Arts curriculum until the age of 14. Although in England,           and art. However, in some schools there was no music
Scotland and Wales music is not a compulsory examination                provision at all or music was only taught on one day per year.
subject, schools in Northern Ireland must offer access to at
least one course that leads to a qualification in The Arts Area         Teacher training figures from the Department for Education
of Learning at age 16.                                                  (DfE) show that only 82 per cent of the recruitment target
                                                                        for music teachers was reached in England for the 2019/20
                                                                        academic year, representing the seventh consecutive year
                                                                        where Initial Teacher Training (ITT) recruitment targets for
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education                   secondary subjects were missed.11The number of music
published the State of the Nation report in February 2019               teachers recruited into teaching since 2010 has also declined
which exposed the crisis facing music Education in England.9            by 53 per cent.12 On 13 October 2020, the DfE announced that
Jointly authored by Dr Alison Daubney (University of Sussex),           training bursaries for arts, English and humanities subjects had
Gary Spruce (Birmingham City University) and the ISM,                   been removed for 2021/22.13 As many prospective trainees
the report demonstrated that music education has been                   will not be able afford to train without financial support, it is
significantly negatively impacted by Government policy. The             unlikely that future recruitment targets will be met and access
pressure of accountability measures for maths and English,              to courses will be restricted only to those who can afford it.
especially in Year 6 (the final year of primary school) had

8      The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis   DECEMBER 2020         *Not adjusted for cohort size.                                                                                                                                     9
State of the Nation recommendations                                                                                                 11 	Ring-fenced funding for Hubs must be
                                                                                                                                         continued beyond 2020 at current levels
                                                                                                                                                                                     15 	Ensure that all teachers are supported to
                                                                                                                                                                                          access regular and relevant high-quality
                                                                                                                                         or increased levels.                             subject-specific CPD, and improve the
                                                                                                                                                                                          working conditions of the workforce.

     1   	Schools should receive clear guidance that                          6      	The Government should encourage all         12 	Ofsted must look for evidence of
           headline accountability measures must not                                    schools to embed a culture of singing via        sustained and high-quality musical          16 	Ensure that there is a sufficient number
           erode the delivery of a broad and balanced                                   classroom teaching.                              learning across the curriculum at all key        of properly qualified teachers coming
           curriculum at Key Stage 3, and that a broad                                                                                   stages, instead of focusing heavily on           through to support the delivery of music
           and balanced curriculum must be delivered                                                                                     accountability measures imposed by the           education in our schools and Hubs.
           across all schools at all Key Stages. Music                                                                                   Government that have shown to be
           and the arts are at the heart of a broad                            7      	Ofsted and the Government should make it         failing. They must be responsible for
                                                                                        clear that delivering only the narrow            ensuring that a full and balanced
           and balanced curriculum.
                                                                                        curriculum prescribed by the EBacc will          curriculum is being delivered regularly     17 	Secondary music should be treated as a
                                                                                        have an adverse impact on inspections                                                             shortage subject, and greater efforts and
                                                                                                                                         in all schools.
                                                                                        and evaluations.                                                                                  financial incentives applied to attract high-
     2   	Music should be taught by a subject                                                                                                                                            quality candidates onto ITE/ITT programmes.
           specialist teacher as part of the curriculum
           in all state schools for all pupils for at least                                                                         13 	Ofsted should reconsider their proposal
           one hour every week across all of a three-                          8      	The new National Plan for Music                  contained in Education inspection
           year Key Stage 3. All secondary schools
                                                                                       Education must provide clarity as to the          framework 2019: inspecting the substance
                                                                                                                                                                                     18 	The Government must ensure that primary
                                                                                       roles and responsibilities of schools and                                                          teachers have access to high-quality,
           should have at least one full time music                                                                                      of education in connection with their            relevant and practical subject-specific
                                                                                       Hubs relating to the delivery of a music          approach to the EBacc. We urge them to
           teacher who exclusively teaches music.                                                                                                                                         learning opportunities relating to teaching
                                                                                       education for all pupils.                         drop their proposal that inspectors              the music curriculum through their training,
                                                                                                                                         understand what schools are doing to             NQT period and beyond. In line with other
                                                                                                                                         prepare for the EBacc to be achieved, and
     3   	The English Baccalaureate and Progress 8                                                                                                                                       subjects, funded subject-knowledge
           accountability measures should be                                   9      	The revised National Plan for Music              they should take those preparations into         enhancement courses should be developed
                                                                                        Education should address the quality,            consideration when evaluating the intent         and offered through partnerships with ITE
           reviewed and reformed to provide a better
                                                                                        provision and access to music education          of the school’s curriculum.                      providers in higher education.
           education for our children. At the very least
           a sixth pillar should be added to the EBacc                                  for Early Years and SEND, and improve
           for the creative subjects, including music.                                  signposting of music education
                                                                                        opportunities for 18 to 25-year-olds.
                                                                                                                                    14 	Ensure that as per the Government policy
                                                                                                                                         directive in 2016, classroom teachers
                                                                                                                                         teach within their area of specialism and
     4   	The Government should scrap the 2018
           introduction of the ‘average points score’                         10 	The metrics for measuring the work                    that this is respected.
           measure for the EBacc.                                                      delivered in response to the NPME need
                                                                                       to be revised to go beyond ‘levels of
                                                                                       activity’ reported through the current
                                                                                       narrow set of metrics. The quality of the
     5   	The Government should broaden the                                           work being delivered needs to be part of
           National Curriculum by making individual                                    this evaluation work.
           creative subjects including music
           entitlement areas at Key Stage 4, replacing
           the broader entitlement area of ‘the arts’.

10       The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis      DECEMBER 2020                                                                                                                                    11
Scotland                                                                  was very much dependent on the expertise of the staff and
                                                                          although there were usually one or more specialist music
                                                                                                                                            Government guidance                                                  activities with other people and suggests either virtual lessons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 or pupils making recordings of themselves and giving them to
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland carried out research into
music education in Scotland between 2018 and 2019 and
                                                                          teachers in secondary schools, there was an increasing move
                                                                          towards the creation of Expressive Arts departments. Schools
                                                                                                                                            during COVID-19                                                      their teachers as an alternative to face-to-face lessons.

a report by the Music Education Partnership Group (MEPG)                  had also seen a decline in entries for GCSE and A Level music.    Government guidelines for music teaching in schools have             In Wales, Department for Education and Skills guidance from
was subsequently published in February 2019 entitled What’s               GCSE music entries fell 37 per cent between 2009 and 2019 and     been at best inconsistent and at worst non-existent. Initial         13 July 2020 only makes reference to peripatetic teachers, who
Going on Now? 18 This was a follow up to research conducted               A Level music entries fell 58 per cent in the same period.23 *    guidance published by the DfE in England on 2 July 2020              are permitted to move between schools.33 No further mention
in 2003.19                                                                                                                                  restricted singing to groups of 15 and warned that choirs and        of music is made in this guidance or in subsequent updates. In
                                                                          The report concluded that a National Plan for Music               ensembles involving brass and wind playing should not take           Northern Ireland, guidance initially published by the Department
The report identified some perception of a devaluation of                 Education should be considered along with the creation of a       place. Peripatetic instrumental teachers were allowed to move        of Education on 19 June 2020 and replaced on 29 September 2020
music compared to other subjects and a lack of specialist music           new organisation to develop and deliver the plan.                 between schools but were encouraged to teach outside of              does not include any reference to music teaching other than to
teachers in primary schools. The numbers of primary school                Government figures for all trainee teachers in Wales in           school hours. The guidance was updated on 28 August 2020 to          state that further guidance for practical lessons will be published
music teachers fell by 50 per cent from 98 in 2008 to 49 in 2019.         2018/19 show that the overall number of secondary trainees        allow singing and wind and brass playing to take place with a        once developed.34 However, the Education Authority Music Service
Government figures from the October 2019 intake showed that               was 44 per cent lower than target figures and 22 per cent         range of mitigating measures, but for most schools this came         relaunched one-to-one and small group lessons at the end of
targets for music trainees were missed by 37 per cent.20                  lower for primary trainees. There were just 10 trainees           too late to implement as they had either already returned to         September 2020 following publication of its own guidance based
                                                                          for secondary music in this cohort representing 2% of all         school or term was about to start.30                                 on the available research and the English DfE’s school guidance.35
     Inequalities in access to music provision were also                  secondary trainees.24 The number of registered secondary
     identified with a postcode lottery for the cost of                   music teachers fell from 424 in 2016 to 407 in 2020.25            In Scotland, guidance published by the Learning Directorate on       As a result of the inconsistencies both within and between
                                                                                                                                            30 July 2020 specified that singing, talking at volume and playing   nations, pupils are receiving a very mixed experience. Teachers
     instrumental tuition.
                                                                                                                                            wind and brass instruments should be avoided ‘during the initial     report that Local Authorities, particularly in Scotland and Wales,
                                                                          Northern Ireland                                                  return to schools’.31 Further guidance for music teaching was        have all interpreted the guidance differently and teachers in
Inequalities in access to music provision were also identified            The Arts Council of Northern Ireland Music Strategy 2013-         published by Education Scotland on 21 September 2020 with a          Northern Ireland, mostly instrumental teachers, have had to
with a postcode lottery for the cost of instrumental tuition.             2018 recognised the need to do more to ensure music               sliding scale of risk.32 This guidance advises that children and     approach local public health departments and councils for
Some Local Authorities provided music tuition for free and                provision was ‘equally distributed across the country and         young people should not take part in singing, brass or wind          permission to resume teaching.36
where others charged, the fees varied widely. This widened                fully supported by the infrastructure.’26 The report identified
the gap between those who could afford instrumental                       a need for further research in terms of the quality of youth
tuition and those who could not. The report also found                    music activities, gaps in provision and further opportunities.
that the demand for instrumental tuition in schools often                 As part of the music strategy, The Arts Council of Northern
outstripped the supply.                                                   Ireland committed to advocating strongly for music education
                                                                          entitlement and professional development for teachers.
                                                                                                                                            Music education for all                                              Despite the DfE reinforcing their desire for a broad and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 balanced curriculum, an Ofsted briefing from interim school
Unlike England, the uptake of music qualifications in                                                                                       Media reports from the end of June 2020 suggested that the           visits between 14 and 18 September 2020 found that
Scotland between 2015 and 2020 has increased. Higher and                  The numbers of students enrolled on ITT courses across all        initial DfE plans for the reopening of schools in England included   practical aspects of music were not always being taught
Advanced Higher music saw larger increases of 15 per cent                 subjects decreased 4 per cent between 2014 and 2018. The          a narrowing of the curriculum by suspending non-core subjects        and that school leaders were struggling to decide how
and 7 per cent respectively, with a slight increase of 0.2 per            actual number graduating decreased by 5 per cent in the           for two terms and pupils possibly dropping GCSEs in order to         to include music fully in the curriculum because of safety
cent for National 5 music.21*However, the MEPG also found                 same period.27 Figures from the Council for the Curriculum,       concentrate on English and Maths.37 These leaked plans caused        concerns.40 A further briefing covering visits between 29
that music qualifications were insufficient in themselves to              Examinations and Assessment show that the uptake of GCSE          concern among many music educators and the ISM wrote to Nick         September and 23 October 2020 found that school leaders
aid progression to some programmes at degree level.                       music fell 19 per cent and by 46 per cent for A Level music       Gibb, the Minister for School Standards, calling on him for urgent   identified pupils as having gaps in their music learning
                                                                          between 2007 and 2020.28 *                                        clarification.38 The subsequent ‘Guidance for the Reopening of       but that they had also placed restrictions on the subject,
                                                                                                                                            Schools’ makes several references to schools providing a broad       most notably the suspension of singing or instrumental
Wales                                                                     The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) Chief               and balanced curriculum and only allows the suspension of            work.41Curriculum legislation in Wales updated on 1 October
The Welsh Government commissioned the Music services                      Inspector’s report 2016-1829 states that, ‘the provision of a     ‘some subjects for some pupils in exceptional circumstances.’        2020 acknowledged that limiting contacts between children
feasibility study, published in January 2019, to identify and             broad, and balanced primary curriculum which nurtures the                                                                              in schools (through the organisation of ‘contact groups’)
assess options for the future delivery of music services.22               children’s creative and physical talents is more essential        The National Plan for Music Education in England was due             may limit access to the ‘full breadth of the curriculum’ and
The report identified a lack of consistency in the structure              than ever.’ The Chief Inspector also found that post-14           to be refreshed in autumn 2020 following a consultation in           specifically mentions music in the examples.42
and governance of music education, the fee structure of                   exams and assessments could lead to ‘a narrowing of the           March 2020. The publication was delayed due to COVID-19
Music Education Services, the cost of provision and the                   curriculum and restricted pathways.’ Finally, the report noted    and in an answer to a Parliamentary Question on 27 October           It is clear that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on curriculum
sustainability of the music workforce.                                    a decline in arts uptake in the post-14 curriculum.               2020, Nick Gibb confirmed that the refresh was ‘on hold but          provision as well as instrumental learning, extra-curricular
The report found that in primary schools, music teaching                                                                                    will be published in due course’.39                                  activities and music across the wider life of the school.

12       The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis   DECEMBER 2020        *Not adjusted for cohort size.                                                                                                                                           13
Impact of COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Quotes from primary teachers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘It’s been decimated!...I now only work with two                                     ‘So hands off now       ‘We can listen.

            on music education
                                                                                                                                                                                                          year groups for music… I am teaching maths and                                       [music teaching].       Inventing is reduced
                                                                                    Schools experiencing
                                                                                                     Schoolsa reduction
                                                                                                                        in music
                                                                                                                            a reduction
                                                                                                                                        in music
                                                                                                                                           as a direct
                                                                                                                                                  provision as a direct                         How music English
                                                                                                                                                                                                                How   interventions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          music provision  for thein
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    in schools         rest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      is     of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         being         istime…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           being affected:     Distanced and using     significantly…
                                                                                    result of Covid-19
                                                                                                       by country:
                                                                                                            of Covid-19 by country:                                                                       I’ve lost my studio which is now a staffroom…’                                       next to no equipment    Performing is dead.’
                                                                                    Primary      Primary Secondary         Secondary
                                                                                                                                                                                                Primary         Primary
                                                                                                                                                                                                No singing 38% No singing 38%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Secondary       Secondary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No singing 7% No singing 7%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               for worrying about
                                                                                    England 65% England 65%England 36% England 36%
                                                                                                                                                                                                No instrumentalNolessons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          23%     lessons 23% No instrumentalNo    lessons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            21%     lessons 21%cleaning it.’
                                                                                    Scotland 76% Scotland 76%
                                                                                                           Scotland 53% Scotland 53%                                                                     ‘We cannot
                                                                                                                                                                                                No extra-curricular         sing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                No activities 21% and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    extra-curricular              No‘Due
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     activities 21%         to staggered
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                46% activities 46%
                                                                                                           Wales 43%       Wales 43%
                                                                                                                                                                                                Restricted/no use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   of instruments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               use of instruments No practical music
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No making
                                                                                                           Northern IrelandNorthern
                                                                                                                            60%     Ireland 60%                                                           the children
                                                                                                                                                                                                in class music 10%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                in class music 10%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     breaks/lunch          andmusic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the making 17%
            The findings of this survey demonstrate that COVID-19 is                             Schools experiencing a reduction in music provision
                                                                                                                                                                                                          hugely disappointed                        need to constantly
            having a detrimental effect on music education, with 68%                             as a direct result of COVID-19 by country:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          when they ask to                           wash hands, the
            of primary school teachers and 39% of secondary school
                                                                   80a                                         80
                                                                                                                                                                                                          sing and we tell                           amount of time
            teachers stating that music provision is being reduced as
            direct result of the pandemic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          them no.’                                  spent on music has
                                                                                    70                         70                                                                                                                                    been reduced.’
            For both primary and secondary schools, the negative 60                                            60
            impact was felt most in the devolved nations where                                Percentage (%)
            governments have provided little or no guidance on music                                           50
            teaching and the return to schools.                                                                                                                                                       Quotes from Secondary teachers:
                                                                                    40                         40

                      England                       Wales                           30                         30                                                                                       ‘…the heart of the                    ‘…as a direct result of               ‘Honestly, it’s impossible to state how devastating
                                                                                                                                                                                                         school is missing’                    COVID-19 the content                  this will be in the long run for Music as a subject.
                                                                                    20                         20                                                                             60             60
                      Scotland                      Northern Ireland                                                                                                                                                                           of music lessons is                   There is no provision at all for instrumental
                                                                                    10                         10                                                                                                                              restricted, the efficacy              lessons, ensemble projects, bigger inclusive
                                                                                                                                                                                              50        ‘…not50being able to                   of teaching has                       performances or even classroom ensemble work.
                                                                                     0                         0                                                                                         instill a love of music               been reduced, the                     This will, of course, harm students emotionally
                                                                                                                        Primary                       Secondary
                                                                                                                                                                                              40         in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                             40 same way                       experience of music                   and academically.’
ols experiencing
Schools           a reduction
         experiencing         in music
                       a reduction     provision
                                   in music      as a direct
                                            provision as a direct                            How music
                                                                                               How     provision
                                                                                                   music         in schools
                                                                                                         provision          is being
                                                                                                                    in schools        affected:
                                                                                                                                is being affected:
  of Covid-19 by country:
       of Covid-19 by country:                                                                                                                                                                           due to teaching in                    has been diminished.’
Primary               Secondary
                                                                                                  Primary                                  Secondary
                                                                                                                                                                                               30        a normal
                                                                                                                                                                                                             30      classroom
                                                                                             No singing   38% 38%
                                                                                                  No singing                               No singing  7% 7%
                                                                                                                                                No singing
and  65% 65%
and 76% 76%
                              36% 36%
                               53% 53%
                                                                                             No instrumental   lessons
                                                                                                  No instrumental        23% 23%
                                                                                                                        Secondary School   No instrumental
                                                                                                                                      Secondary No           lessons
                                                                                                                                          has a SchoolRecovery
                                                                                                                                                           has a      21% 21%
                                                                                                                                                                              Recovery Curriculum
                                                                                                                                                                                                         with less instruments.’
            School music provision
                                                                                             No extra-curricular  activities
                                                                                                  No extra-curricular         21% 21%
                                                                                                                        activities         No extra-curricular  activities
                                                                                                                                                No extra-curricular        46% 46%
                      Wales 43% 43%
                          Wales                                                                                         Recovery Curriculum
                                                                                                                                      Recovery Curriculum includes music includes music
                      Northern Ireland
                          Northern      60% 60%
                                                                                               How music provision in schools is being affected:
                                                                                             Restricted/no  use
                                                                                                  Restricted/no  of
                                                                                                                       of instruments      No  practical
                                                                                                                                                No       music
                                                                                                                                                   practical   making
                                                                                                                                                             music       17%
                                                                                                                                                                    making    17%              20            20
                                                                                             in class music
                                                                                                  in class  10% 10%
                                                                                                                           England 41% England 41%           England 37% England 37%
                                                                                                                           Scotland 37% Scotland 37%         Scotland 33% Scotland 33%
                                                                                                                           Wales 57%       Wales 57%         Wales 33%       Wales 33%          10           10
80          Singing, practical music making,                                                                               Northern IrelandNorthern
                                                                                                                                            20%     Ireland 20%
                                                                                                                                                             Northern IrelandNorthern
                                                                                                                                                                              20%     Ireland 20%
                                                                                                                                                                                                      In addition to these activities, primary whole class
            extra-curricular activities and                                                                                                                                                     0             0
70                                                                                                                                                                                                    instrumental lessons (also known as Whole Class Ensemble

            instrumental lessons had all been                                                                                                                                                         Teaching, Wider Opportunities or First Access) offered in 72%
                                                                                                                                                                                                      of primary respondents’ schools, had also been affected.
            negatively affected.                                                                                                                                                                      These lessons usually involve whole classes of primary aged
                                                                                                                                                                                                      children learning to play an instrument, taught by specialist
40          For primary teachers, singing was the activity that                                                                                                                                       instrumental teachers often working alongside school staff.
30          had been affected the most whereas for secondary                                                                                                                                          Just over half (53%) of responding primary schools were
            teachers it was extra-curricular activities. The wider,                                                                                                                                   not undertaking whole class instrumental teaching: 46%
20          negative impact the removal of singing activities                              60 60                                                 No extra-curricular                                  in England and 83% in Scotland. This was partly due to the
                                                                                                                    No singing
            was having on younger children in other subjects,                                                                                    activities                                           instruments on offer having restrictions placed on them
            particularly counting songs in maths was frequently                            50 50                    No instrumental              Restricted/no use of                                 (particularly brass instruments), and partly due to differing
 0          mentioned by primary school respondents.                                                                lessons                      instruments in class music                           Local Authority approaches.
                                                                                           40 40

                                                                                           30 30
            14        TheSecondary
                          heart of the school
                             Secondary          is missing:
                                          has ahas
                                       School      a        MusicCurriculum
                                                        Recovery  education
                                                            Recovery          in the COVID-19 crisis
                                                                     Curriculum                                        DECEMBER 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                          15
                           Recovery Curriculum
                               Recovery Curriculum             includes music
                                                                   includes music
                                                                                           20 20
                           England 41% 41%
                               England                         England 37% 37%
Extra-curricular activities NOT continuing in the 2020/21                           Schools not holding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a festive concert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   or NOT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          continuing in the 2020/21
                                                                                                                                                                        academic year:                                                                                    academic year:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Primary                   Secondary
                                                                                                                                                                        Primary                   Secondary                                                 England 51% Primary England 61% Secondary
                                                                                                                                                                        England 67%               England 62%                                               Scotland 61% England 67%  Scotland 69% England 62%
            The negative impact was also felt particularly for exam years
            in secondary schools, especially where it was reported that
                                                                                           One third (33%) of primary music teachers and one in four
                                                                                           (41%) secondary music teachers thought that these changes
                                                                                                                                                                        Scotland 91%
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Extra-curricular music
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scotland 79%
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wales 93%
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Northern Ireland 80%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Scotland 91%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wales 93%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Scotland 79%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wales continuing in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2020/21 academic year: Northern Ireland 80%
    Schools some    pupils
             experiencing     had in
                       a reduction nomusic
                           a reduction  access
                                       in music  to specialist
                                                      as aas
                                                          direct   teaching rooms or
                                                             a direct                      to How
                                                                                                  How  teaching
                                                                                                          music     at   their schools
                                                                                                                     provision   in in  wouldislast
                                                                                                                                       schools    beingfor the
                                                                                                                                                   is being      entire
                                                                                                                                                                 affected:                       Respondents to the survey reported that extra-curricular
       of Covid-19
           of Covid-19
                   by country:
                       by country:
            equipment, and may not have had access to instruments to                       academic year. 49% of primary and 42% of secondary 100                       were                     music activities were not continuing at all during the 100                          100
                                                                                                  Primary                                  Secondary
    Primary practice or technology
                               Secondary for composition work at home.
                           Secondary                                                       notNosure   how
                                                                                                  No singing  long they would last, adding
                                                                                                          38%38%                                    not7%only
                                                                                                                                           No singing
                                                                                                                                               No singing 7% to the                              2020/21 academic year in nearly three quarters (72%)
        65%65%           England
         76%76%          Scotland
                                  53%53%                                                   uncertainty     forlessons
                                                                                              No instrumental   exam
                                                                                                  No instrumental  lessonsyears
                                                                                                                        23%  23% and curriculum     planning
                                                                                                                                           No instrumental
                                                                                                                                               No instrumental   but21%
                                                                                                                                                                          21%                    of primary schools and two thirds (66%) of secondary
         Pupils   sittingWales
                           Scottish   Qualifications
                                            Authority (SQA) exams were
                                                                                              No extra-curricular
                                                                                                  No extra-curricular
                                                                                           concerns     for the
                                                                                                                             21%21%        No extra-curricular
                                                                                                                                               No extra-curricular
                                                                                                                                                               activities 8046%
                                                                                                                                                                          46%                                                                             80                         80
                                                                                                  Restricted/no oflong-term
                                                                                                            use useinstruments   well-beingNoofpractical
                                                                                                                     of instruments            Nostaff   andmusic
                                                                                                                                                         music pupils.
                                                                                                                                                                        17%17%                   schools. The responses from Scotland, Wales and Northern
                                                                                                        in class
                                                                                                            in class
         being further disadvantaged in Scotland, where restrictions                                                                                                                             Ireland indicated that fewer extra-curricular activities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Percentage (%)
         remain in place for brass and wood playing and singing.                                                                                                       60                        were continuing compared to England. Responses from 60                              60
                                                                                                                                                                                                 the teachers show that a lack of government guidance
80 80                                                                                                                                                                                            for providing safe continuation of ensembles, choirs and
70 70                                                                                                                                                                  40                        orchestras combined with restrictions on numbers and 40                             40
                                                                                                                                                                                                 the need to reduce contacts across school year groups
60 60
         Recovery Curricula                                                                For secondary schools, the number of respondents who said
                                                                                           their school had a recovery curriculum was broadly in line with
                                                                                                                                                                                                 have contributed to the overall reduction in enrichment
                                                                                                                                                                                                 opportunities for pupils.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          20                         20
50 50
                                                                                           the number of respondents across all four countries who said
40 40    In response to school closures and                                                that their recovery curricula also specifically included music. 0                                                                                                    0                     0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Primary                     Secondary
30 30    the subsequent return of pupils,
20 20    Professor Barry Carpenter developed                                                   60 60                                                                                               ‘Lack of extra-curricular takes away a good deal of                                     England             Wales
10 10    the concept of a recovery curriculum                                                                                                                                                       the enrichment we can provide to our high ability
                                                                                               50 50                                                                                                students. Particularly opportunities for PP ‘pupil
 0 0     which is intended to help the school                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Scotland            Northern Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                    premium’ students who cannot afford lessons.’
                                                                                       Percentage (%)

         community recover emotionally, while                                                  40 40

         addressing the inevitable gaps in                                                     30 30                                                                                               ‘We are unable to run our extra-curricular                                 ‘Under our current               ‘Extra-curricular offer is
                                       a a Recovery
                                                       Curriculum                                                                                                                                   activities of which we had many. We are also                               extra-curricular                 less due to staggered
                                        Curriculum        includes
                                                                                               20 20                                                                                                unable to offer rehearsal or out of lesson                                 schedule we will                 school timetable
                                41%41%                 England
                                 37%37%                Scotland
                                                                33%33%                                                                                                                              practice time in the department as we cannot                               be able to offer                 which means
         The recovery curriculum       aims   to respond to  the  loss of                       10 10
                              57%57%                   Wales
                                                             33%33%                                                                                                                                 maintain bubbles this way.’                                                extra-curricular                 lunchtime rehearsals
         routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom
                                           20%20%      Northern
         experienced by children and young people during the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               opportunities to                 are not possible.’
                                                                                                        0 0
         pandemic. Many schools have adopted this model as a way                                                                                                                                                                                                               a maximum of 75
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ‘Extra-curricular is gone                  students each week,
         of supporting their pupils as they returned to school.                                                   Secondary School has a      Recovery Curriculum
                                                                                                                   Recovery Curriculum          includes music
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and is the lifeblood of                   down from c.170
         47% of primary teachers and 41% of secondary teachers                                                                                                                                                                       the department.’                          before lockdown.’
         said that their schools had a recovery curriculum in place.
         However, of these only 31% of primary schools and 37%                                                     England            Wales
         of secondary schools had recovery curricula in place
         which specifically included music. Whilst the figures for                                                 Scotland           Northern Ireland
         primary school recovery curricula were similar in England
         and Scotland (49% and 43% respectively), almost twice
         as many (34%) English recovery curricula included music
         than Scottish recovery curricula (18%). This reflects the
         differences in school guidance for music teaching between
         the two countries, where the restrictions in England were
         not as severe as Scotland.

         16        The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis                       DECEMBER 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                           17
 activities NOT continuing
                 activities NOT
                             in the
                                    2020/21 in the 2020/21                   Schools not holding
                                                                                                 a festive
                                                                                                    not holding
                                                                                                                a festive
                                                                                                                   or performance:
                                                                                                                          concert or performance:
academic year:
                                                                              Primary      Primary Secondary Secondary
Primary Secondary Secondary                                                   England 51% England 51%England 61% England 61%
England 67%
          England 62% England 62%                                             Scotland 61% Scotland 61%
                                                                                                     Scotland 69% Scotland 69%
Scotland 91%
          Scotland 79% Scotland 79%                                                                  Wales 93%      Wales 93%
          In addition
          Wales 93% to     a reduction
                         Wales 93%       of extra-curricular music activities,         Schools not holding    a festive
                                                                                                     Northern Ireland 60%concert
                                                                                                                    Northern Ireland or
                                                                                                                                     60%performance:    In primary schools, the percentage of Scottish respondents 80                     80
          53% of primary
          Northern Ireland    schools
                           80%         and
                                  Ireland   63% of secondary schools who
                                          80%                                                                                                           who reported that face-to-face instrumental lessons were not
           normally hold a festival concert or performance at the end of
                                                                                                                                                        taking place was almost twice that of English respondents. In
 0                                                                     100
           the first term would not be able to this year. Much of the content                     100                                                   secondary schools, the responses showed less variance.      60                    60

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Percentage (%)
           of these performances comes from extra-curricular activities,
           so there is a clear correlation between a lack of enrichment                                                                                                                                            50                     50
 0                                                                      80                             80
           opportunities and far fewer concerts and performances taking                                                                                        England               Wales
           place in the first term of the 2020/21 academic year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   40                     40

                                                                                      Percentage (%)
 0                                                                          60                         60                                                      Scotland              Northern Ireland              30                     30
                     England                    Wales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   20                     20
 0                   Scotland                   Northern Ireland            40                         40
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   10                     10

 0                                                                           20                        20                                                                                                           0                     0                                                  0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Primary               Secondary

 0                                                                            0                        0
                                                                                                            Primary                     Secondary       Even when instrumental teachers had reported a return to
                                                                                                                                                        face-to-face teaching (33%) or a mix of face-to-face and                   ‘Virtual instrumental      ‘…most instrumental
                                                                                                                                                        online teaching (25%) these changes were rarely described                   lessons have led           instruction is going
                                                                                                                                                        as a positive experience. There were issues with recruitment                to some teachers           on through video link
                                                                                                                                                        and retention of pupils, reduction of income, managing                      and many pupils            in the evenings and
           Instrumental lessons                                                                ‘They [pupils] need instant feedback and guidance
                                                                                                                                                        timetables, observing restrictions, implementing mitigating
                                                                                                                                                        measures and getting to grips with technology.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    declining to take part     as such several pupils
                                                                                                on their vocal pieces in order to build confidence                                                                                  until it can be done       have quit as they
           99% of instrumental teachers working in schools reported                                                                                                                                                                 face-to-face.’             cannot do this.’
           that teaching had changed for them for 2020/21. Primary                              and control in their voices and performance. It’s
                                                                                                                                                         ‘…more difficult to recruit new pupils as I can’t do
           and secondary class teachers reported that 35% of primary                            almost impossible to do this if they record and
                                                                                                                                                          demonstrations, more difficult to help beginners
           instrumental lessons and 28% of secondary instrumental                               send it to me.’                                                                                                                    ‘No year 7 intake on instrumental lessons at all.
                                                                                                                                                          as I can’t go near them… fewer people able to
           lessons were not continuing in person this academic year.                                                                                                                                                                Many who did have lessons in other year groups
                                                                                                                                                          afford lessons.’
           Where restrictions still existed for certain instruments, some                                                                                                                                                           have stopped as they do not want online lessons
           lessons contained no practical music making at all.
                                                                                                 ‘…we are in school             ‘… instrumental
                                                                                                but only able to talk            lessons have taken a                                                                               at home.’
                                                                                                / discuss in lessons.            massive hit. In some    ‘Numbers of students
             ‘Only woodwind and                        ‘We have been told                                                                                 have massively
                                                                                                Pupils are recording             year groups over
              brass ‘consultations’,                    to discuss their pre-                                                                             reduced. School
                                                                                                their work at home               50% stopped playing
              no instruments being                      recorded singing which                                                                            leavers not being
                                                                                                and sending it to me             instruments over
              played when tutors                        the pupils find off                                                                               replaced yet by new
                                                                                                or bringing it in to             lockdown’
              visit the school.’                        putting and awkward.’                                                                             students. I think
                                                                                                listen to and discuss.’
                                                                                                                                                          parents are nervous.’

           18        The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis             DECEMBER 2020                                                                                                                                                               19
England 73% England 73%                England 86% England 86%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Scotland 27% Scotland 27%              Scotland 7% Scotland 7%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wales 0%      Wales 0%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Northern Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 7% Ireland 7%
        Despite school guidance allowing visiting instrumental
        teaching to resume, 10% of instrumental teachers were
        currently not teaching at all. Most respondents reported
                                                                              ‘None of the schools I teach at want me back,                                 A broad and                                              100                        100

        that this was due to school restrictions, although a small
                                                                               even though they can have us, but they just do
                                                                               not have the space for us to teach whilst keeping                            balanced curriculum?                                         80                     80
        minority had been furloughed.
                                                                               our distance from our pupils.’
                                                                                                                                                            The study found that 8% of primary schools and 9% of

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Percentage (%)
          ‘Not allowed in             ‘The school has                                                                                                       secondary schools had removed classroom music completely 60                         60
           schools to teach as         decided not to restart                 ‘This [particular] school are not allowing return to                          for some or all year groups as a result of COVID-19, meaning
                                                                               instrumental lessons because to quote office staff                           that children up to the age of 14 were not able to have
           it would affect the         instrumental lessons
                                                                                                                                                            sustained access to music education as part of their     40                         40
percentage integrity of bubbles.’
              of Scottish respondents until things are back                    of school “there is too much for them to cope
                                                                                                                                                            entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum as well as
-to-face instrumental lessons were not to normal!’                             with and we can’t afford to give out hand sanitiser
                                                                                                                                                            reducing access to music as an exam option. Both primary
st twice that of English respondents. In                                       to the teachers.”’                                                                                                                    20                         20
           ‘One  school  has                                                                                                                                and secondary schools in England accounted for the largest
 responses   showed   less variance.                                                                                                                        number of missing lessons.
        banned instrumental
        lessons altogether.’
   Secondary                                                                                                                                                                                                             0                       0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lessons removed           Lessons removed
   England 27%                                                                                                                                                     England               Wales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        from primary             from secondary
   Scotland 32%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          by country                by country
   Wales 36%                                                                       Larger                               Regular cleaning/                          Scotland              Northern Ireland
              instrumental                                                                                                                      Primary
   Northern          20% teachers had returned to face-to-                         teaching room                        disinfecting
        face teaching, a range of mitigating measures have been                                                                                 Larger teaching room 25%
        employed to safely deliver lessons. These included the use                 Reduced group                                                Reduced group numbers 19%
                                                                                                                        Increased ventilation
        of larger teaching rooms, reduced group numbers, wearing                   numbers                                                      Screens between the teacher and
        face coverings and using screens between teachers and                      Screens between the                  Children grouped        pupil(s) 15%
        pupils. The findings from the survey suggest that schools                  teacher and pupil(s)                 in class ‘bubbles’      The use of Some
                                                                                                                                                                    or visors 15%in primary schools cited lack of time
                                                                                                                                                Lessons outside 6%
        are interpreting and applying the guidance in many different               The use of masks                     Instrumental cover                 in the school day, limited or no visiting whole class
                                                                                                                                                Social distancing 4%
        ways but are also being hampered by the facilities available               or visors                            (covering the end of               instrumental tutors or class organisation as reasons for
                                                                                                                        a trumpet to prevent    Regular cleaning/disinfecting 3%
        to them, with only around a quarter of respondents having                                                                                          this. In secondary schools, some respondents reported
                                                                                   Lessons outside                      droplets)               Increased ventilation 3%
        the use of a larger teaching room.                                                                                                                 timetabling issues, staggered lunchtimes and lessons
                                                                                                                                                Children grouped     in class ‘bubbles’ 2%
                                                                                                                        Taught in person                   being
                                                                                                                                                Instrumental       replaced
                                                                                                                                                               cover        with numeracy
                                                                                                                                                                      1% (covering     the and literacy.
                                                                                   Social distancing
                                                                                                                        after school hours      end of a trumpet to prevent droplets)
                                                                                                                                                            Quotes from primary teachers:                                         Quotes from secondary teachers:
                                                                          0             5         10         15             20          25
        Primary                                                            Secondary                                                                         ‘We are not teaching             ‘No music on [the]                         ‘GCSE Music for year 11 is not on the timetable. I
                                                                               Primary                                                                        music at all.’                   curriculum now.’                           teach it after school twice a week for an hour.’
                                                                               Larger teaching room 25%                                         Secondary
                                                                               Reduced group numbers 19%                                        Larger teaching room 27%
                                                                               Screens between the teacher and                                               ‘Specialist music only
                                                                                                                                                Reduced group numbers 12%
                                                                                                                                                                                              ‘Just trying to catch                      ‘KS3 currently aren’t                ‘…no music lessons
                                                                               pupil(s) 15%                                                                   beingthe
                                                                                                                                                Screens between      delivered  in
                                                                                                                                                                        teacher and            up on normal lessons                       receiving any music                  to provide cover/
                                                                               The use of masks or visors 15%                                   pupil(s) 20%  years 3  and  4 due              they’ve missed is                          lessons whatsoever.’                 support…’
                                                                               Lessons outside 6%                                                             to super
                                                                                                                                                The use of masks        bubble
                                                                                                                                                                   or visors 20%               our priority.’
                                                                               Social distancing 4%                                                           groupings.’
                                                                                                                                                Lessons outside   2%
                                                                               Regular cleaning/disinfecting 3%                                 Social distancing 3%                                                                                                         ‘Year 8 have reduced
                                                                               Increased ventilation 3%                                         Regular cleaning/disinfecting 4%                                                         ‘Usually [taught on] a               curriculum time
                                                                               Children grouped in class ‘bubbles’ 2%                           Increased ventilation 3%                                                                  carousel. This year no              to accommodate
                                                                               Instrumental cover 1% (covering the                              Children have to be from the same                                                         music regularly.’                   staggered lunchtimes.’
                                                                               end of a trumpet to prevent droplets)                            ‘bubble’ 3%
        0          5         10           15          20           25 0             5        10        15         20          25       30       Taught in person after school hours
                                                                                                                                                1%                                                                                       ‘Orchestra lessons (1 hour per week for KS3) are
                              Percentage (%)                                                       Percentage (%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          removed for literacy and numeracy.’

                                                                                   Larger teaching room 27%
                                                                                   Reduced group numbers 12%
        20     The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 Screens
                                                                                   crisis   between   the teacher and
                                                                                            DECEMBER 2020                                                                                                                                                                                          21
                                                                                   pupil(s) 20%
                                                                                   The use of masks or visors 20%
   By country            By country
                                 By country                                                          where lessons
                                                                                                                            were removed
                                                                                                                                     teaching teaching
                                                                                                                                              other subjects
                                                                                                                                                       other subjects

 nd 73%
    England 73%          England 86%
                                  England 86%                                                        England 10%
                                                                                                              England 10%            England 92%
                                                                                                                                              England 92%
and Scotland
    27%      27%         Scotland Scotland
                                  7%        7%                                                       Scotland Scotland
                                                                                                              16%       16%          Scotland Scotland
                                                                                                                                              3%        3%
                         Wales 0%Wales 0%                                                            Wales 7%Wales 7%                Wales 21%Wales 21%
                                   Ireland 7%
                                            Ireland 7%                                               NorthernNorthern
                                                                                                               Ireland 0%
                                                                                                                        Ireland 0%   NorthernNorthern
                                                                                                                                               Ireland 20%
                                                                                                                                                        Ireland 20%

 100      As a result of reduced music provision, some secondary
          teachers reported changes to their timetables for the
                                                                     100                             100                                                                Day-to-day impacts                                              ‘Shared Drama/Music space is being used as a

          2020/21 academic year. 11% of teachers had had music
                                                                      80                              80
                                                                                                                                                                        of COVID-19                                                      COVID-19 first aid room.’
          lessons removed from their usual timetable as a result of
          COVID-19 and 8% of secondary teachers had been asked to                                                                                                       As well as the effects of COVID-19 on curriculum and extra-

                                                                                    Percentage (%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ‘Practice room is COVID    ‘Practice rooms now
   60     teach other subjects in place of music this academic year.  60                              60                                                                curricular music, teachers reported further adverse impacts      concern holding bay.’      a KS4 store room for
                                                                                                                                                                        on their day-to-day teaching. Many schools have had to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    year group bubble
                                                                                                                                                                        make changes to the way they organise classes and year
   40                                                                             40                  40                                                                                                                                                            instruments.’
                   England                  Wales                                                                                                                       groups by creating ‘bubbles’ or ‘contact groups’ in order to    ‘2 of my 5 practice
                                                                                                                                                                        reduce the number of contacts and movement around the            rooms are being used
                   Scotland                 Northern Ireland                                                                                                            buildings, as well as to manage non-teaching time such                                     ‘Less practice
   20                                                                             20                  20                                                                                                                                 as COVID isolation
                                                                                                                                                                        as lunch breaks. For some teachers this has meant classes                                   rooms. Unequipped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         rooms in case any staff
                                                                                                                                                                        remaining static whilst the teacher travels between rooms,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         or students display        classrooms. Teaching
    0                                                                              0                    0                                                               and for others being moved to a non-specialist teaching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         any symptoms.’             in standard classrooms
                                                                                                            Breakdown by country              Breakdown by country      space. For others, it has meant re-writing schemes of work
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    without instruments.
                                                                                                                where lessons                 where teaching other      to accommodate these changes and, in some instances,
                                                                                                                were removed                        subjects            fewer music lessons and teaching other subjects.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Noise issues.’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ‘No specialist rooms
                                                                                                                                                                        16% of secondary music teachers reported that they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         used at KS3.’
                                                                                                                                                                        currently had no access at all to specialist music classrooms
                                                                                                                                                                        and 43% of music teachers were having to move between
          The removal of curriculum music lessons                                                                                                                                                                                       ‘GCSE students have no access to practice rooms,
                                                                                    The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) accountability measure and                        non-specialist classrooms to teach some or all music
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         drum kits, guitars piano (many students don’t
          was most prevalent in England, and                                        its damaging impact on music education has been a concern                           lessons this academic year. Just over a third (35%) of music
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         have these instruments at home). Year 10 don’t
                                                                                    since its introduction in 2010. In recent years, there has been                     classrooms or practice rooms had been repurposed for other
          although these responses related solely                                   an increase in schools introducing a two-year Key Stage 3                           subjects or uses. Practice rooms were most likely to be          have access to composition software.’
          to COVID-19, they continue the worrying                                   (where Key Stages apply) to allow more teaching time for                            repurposed for medical use.
                                                                                    exam courses and reducing access to classroom music. 26%
          trend of a narrowing curriculum that has                                  of English respondents to this survey indicated that their
          been observed previously by the ISM in                                    school did not provide classroom music in all three years of
                                                                                    Key Stage 3 meaning that over a quarter of children were
          its 2019 State of the Nation report.                                      missing out on curriculum music lessons at some point during                        86% of secondary music teachers reported that they have         ‘Removing whole class      ‘Complete redesign of
                                                                                    Year 7, Year 8 and/or Year 9. In Wales, the figure was lower at                     had to re-write schemes of work due to COVID-19. In Wales        singing from KS3 and       courses in BGE [Broad
          However, responses to further questions in this survey                    17% and in Northern Ireland it was 0%.                                              and Northern Ireland, 100% of teachers had rewritten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a higher proportion of     General Education]
          also suggested that some of the issues raised in the State of                                                                                                 schemes of work, compared to 88% in Scotland and 85%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         written work now in        curriculum.’
          the Nation have continued, leading to a further decline                   22% of teachers said their Key Stage 3 pupils were not                              in England. In addition to those teachers who have had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         comparison to practical
          in music education.                                                       usually receiving weekly music lessons. Again, the figure                           no access to specialist music rooms, lessons have been
                                                                                    was highest in England (33%), compared to Wales (8%)                                re-written to remove practical work, singing, instrumental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ‘All practical elements
                                                                                    and Northern Ireland (0%). 38% of Key Stage 3 music                                 activities, group work and to accommodate lost learning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    have had to be
                                                                                    lessons were on a rota or carousel system for some or all                           and future remote education.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ‘Re-written all             replaced as a direct
                                                                                    year groups. 100% of those were in English schools.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         schemes to account         instruction from the
                                                                                                                                                                         ‘Corporate rebranding so all lessons to be                      for bubbles, sharing of    Head and also because
                                                                                                                                                                          re-planned to corporate template – all key                     equipment and pupils       all lessons are in non-
                                                                                                                                                                          stages. All lessons must be uploaded to google                 facing the front.’         specialist rooms.’
                                                                                                                                                                          classroom for absent pupils at the same time as
                                                                                                                                                                          present pupils receive lessons – so also an extra
                                                                                                                                                                          factor for planning.’                                         ‘Writing schemes that don’t involve instruments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         due to cleaning issues.’

          22       The heart of the school is missing: Music education in the COVID-19 crisis                   DECEMBER 2020                                                                                                                                                                23
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