Why Glennie is wrong

6th August 2004 at 01:00
I'm sorry that Evelyn Glennie is not able to join the Government and more than 100 signatories supporting the music manifesto (TES, July 16).

Ms Glennie is wrong to say music is not mandatory in schools. Music is a foundation subject in the national curriculum, just like geography and history, and is therefore mandatory for all five to 14-year-olds.

As a result of the manifesto, we are making practical changes to its teaching, for example by rolling out the Wider Opportunities pilots at key stage 2 across all education authorities.

I understand the concern about funding. But I am convinced it is right to give maximum flexibility to schools over the pound;3 billion extra funding flowing over the next three years. In addition we have pledged to continue the music standards fund - almost pound;180 million until 2008, guaranteed.

Parents will be able to judge for themselves how schools are delivering an enriched and balanced curriculum through the new school profile and the new three-yearly Office for Standards in Education school inspections.

I hope readers will decide for themselves by reading the music manifesto, as well as the many pledges of action from the partners to make the priorities a reality.

These can be found at www.musicmanifesto.co.uk.

David Miliband

School standards minister

Department for Education and Skills

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