Jump to main content

GCSE music entries fall by 3.8%

GCSE results published today for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland show that the uptake of music has fallen by 3.8% since 2021.

Figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications show the continued decline in arts subjects with entries falling in art and design (2.1%), drama (6.4%) and design and technology (5.4%) compared to last year.

The data shows that between 2012 and 2022, entries for GCSE music have fallen 19% and a shocking 27% since 2010 and the introduction of the EBacc.

Source: https://analytics.ofqual.gov.uk/apps/GCSE/Outcomes/

ISM Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts said, ‘Congratulations to all music students receiving their exam results today. I hope they are awarded the grades to reflect all their hard work after the challenges of the past two years.

This significant fall in music entries since 2021 is of great cause for concern, particularly when entries have now fallen by a staggering 27% since the EBacc was introduced.


Accountability measures such as the EBacc and Progress 8 must be urgently reformed or scrapped to prevent further damage to our arts subjects. Our analysis shows the size of the challenge facing the refreshed National Plan for Music Education, as it aims to ensure all students have access to high quality music education in school.’