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Minister's pledge on school music

David Miliband, school standards minister, has defended the Government's record on school music. He said the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority had noted a "dramatic increase" in the take-up of AS and A-level music, particularly among boys.

"To widen opportunities still further, we have pledged, over time, to offer all primary school pupils who want to do so the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, and we are currently piloting 12 models of delivering this pledge across the country. An evaluation of the models will be produced in December 2003."

He added that the Department for Education and Skills would be establishing a new category of specialist school - the music college - from 2004.

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