No chance of MPs trumpeting music, finds poll

1st April 2011 at 01:00

Music is at the bottom of the list of subjects that should appear in the national curriculum, according to a new poll of MPs.

The subject was the least popular when MPs were asked to choose up to five, from a list of nine, that should be included alongside a core of maths, English and science.

Other subjects that fared badly in the poll of 98 politicians included PE, art and design, and design and technology.

Music is currently compulsory up to the age of 14 and the government-commissioned Henley review of music education said in February that it was "of paramount importance" that the subject stayed there or it could "wither away in many schools".

Earlier this year, education secretary Michael Gove complained that the secondary music curriculum did not mention a single composer, musician, conductor or piece of music. But the new poll - commissioned by the AQA exam board - suggests that his party colleagues doubt it needs to be there at all, with no Conservative MPs selecting music.

Only one in 10 Labour MPs picked the subject and just 21 per cent of Lib Dems. But they could be going against public opinion, according to recent YouGov research, which showed that 97 per cent of adults thought music should be taught in schools.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, which commissioned the research, said: "If anything, music should be a model curriculum subject, with its broad and flexible curriculum allowing teachers to deliver a liberating and creative, academically rigorous education."

A government review is currently considering which of eight subjects on the list should remain in the national curriculum alongside the core of English, maths, science and PE.

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