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How does the new NPME measure up to ISM asks

The ISM produces robust and forward-looking publications and reports. Earlier in 2022 we released Music: A subject in peril? which comprised the testimonies of over 500 music teachers across England.

Music: A subject in peril?
made recommendations which, if implemented, would increase access to high quality music education in schools. We have been campaigning on these recommendations since its publication and we are pleased to see that a number of those recommendations have either been addressed, or partly addressed in the refreshed National Plan for Music Education.

The refreshed plan, The power of music to change lives, was released recently by the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Below you can find analysis on a selection of recommendations from our recent report and whether the refreshed National Plan for Music Education addresses them or not.

We have also produced a longer table which analyses the recommendations from Music: A subject in peril? and assesses whether they have been addressed, partly addressed or not addressed in The power of music to change lives.

You can read our initial reaction to the plan here.

The ISM continues to analyse the refreshed plan closely. We are interested to hear the views of those working across the music education profession. If you would like to share your views on the plan, please contact [email protected]

Recommendation
: Music teachers want the refreshed NPME to included increased, ring-fenced funding for music departments and instrumental and vocal tuition.

Result
: The refreshed Plan announced new investment of £25 million in musical instruments and equipment and committed to continue to invest £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next two years.

Recommendation
: Music teachers want action on the narrowing of the curriculum and reform of accountability measures.

Result
: The refreshed Plan does not commit to reform of accountability measures and such a step would be out of its remit. The Plan states that schools should deliver high-quality curriculum music for at least one hour a week in key stages 1 to 3 which is welcome.

Recommendation
: Government should ensure that classroom music, including a strong focus on singing, is at the heart of the refreshed NPME

Result
: The Plan states that ensuring classroom music provision is high quality is essential. It says that during the primary years singing should be the golden thread and that singing will be a core part of the curriculum offer at primary.

Recommendation
: Music teachers want recognition of the need for a higher subject profile and to increase the perceived value of music.

Result
: The Plan is clear on the importance of music education. It states the ambition that music is valued and celebrated in every early years setting and school. Further, the Plan calls music a cornerstone of the broad and balanced education that every child should receive.

Recommendation: Those who responded to our survey were clear that they wanted to be consulted on the refreshed Plan before implementation.

Result: There are currently no plans for an official consultation.

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