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Schools ‘expected’ to publish music development plan summary

Schools will be “expected” to publish a summary of their “music development plans” on their websites from September, the government has said.

In their national plan for music education in 2022, ministers told all schools to develop such plans to “capture the curricular and co-curricular offer and set out how it will be staffed and funded”.

The plan went on to suggest that “publishing the school music development plan on the school website may also help families to understand how their children will benefit from school music”.

But the government has beefed up its guidance this week, informing leaders that “from academic year 2024 to 2025, schools will be expected to publish a summary of their music development plan on their website”.

The summary “should reflect how a school delivers music education to pupils and what changes they are planning in future years”.

The expectation is non-statutory, meaning schools have no legal duty to follow it.

‘Help parents understand’

The Department for Education said the summary was “to help pupils and parents or carers understand what your school offers, and who a school works with to support this, including their local music hub and other music education organisations”.

The department has “published a short template as part of the guidance to help schools produce the summary”.

It comes after Schools Week revealed almost a quarter of secondary schools are not meeting a new government expectation for key stage 3 pupils to be taught an hour of classroom music a week.

The expectation was introduced in September as part of the national plan for music, which promised to help “unleash the creativity of children” with a “renewed emphasis on opportunities for all”.

A similar expectation was also introduced for key stages 1 and 2.

But a Teacher Tapp survey of 1,256 senior leaders in state secondary schools this month found that 16 per cent were teaching for less than an hour a week, with 2 per cent not teaching it at all.

A further 5 per cent used a “carousel” system, which usually means teaching pupils for only part of the year.

Overall, two-thirds said they met the weekly commitment of one hour, with 7 per cent saying that they taught for more than an hour.

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