Exclusive: Andrew Lloyd Webber urges industry to unite and ‘act now’ to protect music in education
Andrew Lloyd Webber is urging the industry to work together on a strategy to protect music in education, labelling recent research highlighting its a demise as a “wake-up call” for the sector.
According to research from the University of Sussex, published earlier this week, the decline of music in secondary schools has “reached crisis point”.
The study, which surveyed 500 secondary schools, claims that an increasing number of schools have cut their music offering or entirely removed the subject from the curriculum in years 7 to 9.
Almost a fifth of schools failed to offer GCSE music, while between 2016 and 2018 there was a 10% decline in the number of students starting a GCSE music course.
Lloyd Webber told The Stage: “This research is an extremely troubling and an urgent wake-up call. The important thing is to find a solution. There is a lot of outstanding practice that counters this decline, including the work of exceptional teachers, music hubs and initiatives such as the Music in Secondary Schools Trust, which now guarantees 6,500 students to free group tuition at key stage 3.”
He added: “We need to come together across our different organisations to set an ambitious music strategy for every child in the UK. My foundation, through the Music in Secondary Schools Trust, is committed to playing a key role to ensure that current and future generations will benefit from the empowering force of a music education.”