Significant fall in number of 2017 GCSE and A Level Music candidates

Analysis by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and Schools Week has shown a significant fall in the number of GCSE and A Level Music candidates in 2017.

The number of GCSE Music candidates dropped from 41,850 in 2016 to 38,750 in 2017 – a fall of 7.4% – while the number of A Level Music candidates dropped from 6250 in 2016 to 5650 in 2017 – a fall of 9.6%.

Conversely, the percentage of students achieving A* or A at GCSE was up slightly from 30% in 2016 to 30.8% in 2017 while those achieving A* or A at A Level rose from 19% in 2016 to 19.8% in 2017.

Speaking about the continuing decline in uptake of Music at GCSE and A Level, Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), said:

‘With the Department for Education determined to pursue the EBacc despite evidence which shows how damaging it has been to creative subjects in schools, this trend is only likely to get worse. This should be a wake-up call to Government that their EBacc plans need to be rethought, before any more damage is done.’



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