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National Curriculum Review

20th March 2013

Update: July 2013

The UK Association for Music EducationMusic Mark would like to take this opportunity to thank our Members for their contributions to the review of the National Curriculum. Members’ contributions have been vital in ensuring that Music Mark can help influence and shape the National Curriculum.

The UK Association for Music EducationMusic Mark is pleased to note that the Government has listened to the consultation, as evidenced by some welcome additions to this draft of the National Curriculum. We specifically note the increased prominence of the mention of creativity and we are pleased that this is now embedded from the first sentence. We also welcome the inclusion of the natural play of experimentation at Key Stage 1. It is clear in this draft  that national curriculum music is about being a musician, not simply learning about music and at Key Stage 2 this includes the practical application of creating and composing music for a range of purposes. At Key Stage 3 this includes the opportunity to develop as a musician in the way that they wish through the possibility of specialising in singing or playing an instrument or composing. We note and welcome that the use of new technologies for creating music is now included alongside the traditional technologies of musical instruments.

However, we also have noted that attempts to make additions have created some clumsy wording, some of which requires revisiting and refining. We also note that there is still no preamble for KS1 which is a missed opportunity to underpin this crucial phase in children’s musical development and the attainment target remains largely uninformative.

You can find the new framework document and programmes of study, (Music p217 – p219)  along with the consultation document on the legislative Order for the new national curriculum and details of how to respond on the consultation page on GOV.UK. The consultation will close on 8 August.

We continue to welcome Members’ comments on this consultation.


The UK Association for Music EducationMusic Mark has consulted its members and has submitted a response to the Department for Education for the National Curriculum Review. Representatives met officials from the DfE to discuss this submission as well as contributing to the wider consultation process through the Cultural Learning Alliance and the Music Education Council.

Graeme Smith and Fiona Pendreigh, our Board Members, attended meetings with other subject associations about the primary curriculum, and they have fed back to the DfE, including the challenge to schools to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum when the draft documents have such a large difference in the amount of detail between the core subjects and foundations subjects. On 6 March, James Garnett, another of our board members, spoke at the Westminster Education Forum debate on the draft music and art curricula.

In preparation for the implementation of the new curriculum, The UK Association for Music EducationMusic Mark will be working with members to prepare guidance for colleagues in schools and hubs.

Read our response

Read our Response to the Secondary School Accountability Consultation

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