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DfE to ‘test appetite’ for music as facilitating subject

DfE to write to universities after failure to list A-level music as facilitating subject branded 'profoundly unhelpful'

music, a level, university, admissions, russell group, facilitating subject, lord agnew, baroness mcintosh

DfE to write to universities after failure to list A-level music as facilitating subject branded 'profoundly unhelpful'

The Department for Education will write to universities to “test their appetite” for adding music A-level to their list of facilitating subjects.

It comes after peer and former chief executive of the Royal Opera House Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall last month raised concerns about music A level not being on the list used by Russell Group universities.

In a House of Lords debate about music education in schools, the Labour peer said: “This is profoundly unhelpful and gives a difficult message to schools and students about what it is possible for them to study and still expect to get into a good university.

“Music is difficult to study, particularly when you get to A level. It is just as difficult as maths and it needs quite a lot of the same skills.

“It is not a soft option or a "nice to have" and it would be a good thing if the universities and the education department recognised that a student who comes out of schools with A levels in, say, music, chemistry and maths is well-equipped for the life that they are likely to lead.”

Speaking in a House of Lords debate about social mobility today, education minister Lord Agnew told Baroness McIntosh about the action his department would take following her comments.

He said: “I have spoken to two ministers in the department since and have agreed that we will write to some universities to test their appetite for adding music A-level to the facilitating subject range.”

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