Average Alevel Music class now has just three students study finds

“The threat of small class sizes is also a concern. In a tough financial climate, it can be hard for schools to justify the expense of offering a qualification and having a specialist teacher if the uptake is low, further limiting pupils access to studying music and even pursuing a career in music.”The discipline faces an “existential crisis” as it increasingly drops off the syllabus, according to Lord Black of Brentwood who warned during a debate in the House of Lords last year that music is “literally disappearing from our schools”.“Rather than it being the fundamental right of all children, it is rapidly becoming the preserve of the privileged few at independent schools, as it dies out in the state sector,” he said. “Music in this country is now facing an existential crisis which only urgent radical action from government will be able to reverse.” The average A-level music class now has just three students, a study has found.One in five entries for the subject are from fewer than 50 schools, according to research commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.Academics from Birmingham City University analysed patterns of entry for A-level qualifications in Music over the past five years and found that numbers had fallen by 35 per cent, from 8,369 to 5,440.The study also found that independent schools account for a disproportionately high number of A-level music entries.“It seems significant that the average class size for many of the entry centres in these local authorities does not exceed the national average of 3.3 students,” the report said, adding that the subject is “disappearing” altogether from schools in deprived areas.Researchers identified ten parts of the country – including Blackpool, Slough, Bury and Hartlepool – where there were less than five entries for A-level music for the entire area. Dr Adam Whittaker, a research fellow at Birmingham City University and the report’s lead author, said that the decline in A-level music is “extremely alarming”.He added: “It is deeply worrying that students in the most deprived local authorities are not able to study A-level music, while other more affluent areas see high numbers of entry.   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

EU wants new paradigm regarding its investments in CARIFORUM

(CMC) The European Union says while it is moving to reform its relationship with the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries it is also necessary for there to be a new paradigm regarding its investments at the regional level.EU Ambassador to CARIFORUM, Daniela TramacereThe Barbados-based EU Ambassador to CARIFORUM, Daniela Tramacere, said it was important now for the investments at the regional level resonate at the national level.“Indeed, national ownership is the single most important ingredient in regional integration. To reword an old maxim, in this new world paradigm you need to strategise globally, think regionally, and act locally. Be assured that in this new normal the EU will always stand with you,” she told delegates attending a workshop dedicated to the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Standby Facilities financed by the EU under the Caribbean Regional Programme.The two-day workshop ends later on Friday.The EU diplomat noted that an independent appraisal of the CSME commissioned by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments a few years ago confirmed that the limited administrative capacity at the national level was a hindrance to capitalising on the benefits of the CSME that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the 15-member regional grouping.The CSME is regarded by regional governments as the Caribbean’s response to a changing global environment characterised by the loss of preferential treatment for the goods and services on the international market and Tramacere said the outcome of the appraisal was the establishment of the CSME Standby Facility dedicated to interventions at the national level; with a complementary facility being established for the Economic Partnership Agreement.“This approach recognises that whereas the European Union (EU) and CARIFORUM/CARICOM are committed to the implementation of the CSME and EPA, we both acknowledge that final responsibility for implementation, ownership, and sustainability must lie with the CARIFORUM member states.“Further, I must underscore that we see the EPA and CSME as two interrelated dimensions of the region’s integration thrust. This interconnectedness of the EPA and CSME is further evidenced by the similarity of the support areas under the respective standby facilities.”She said these included support to quality infrastructures; improved market penetration through export readiness and establishing contacts between retailers and producers; and strengthening of accreditation and certification systems for greater opportunities for citizens working in a CARIFORUM member state other than their home country.“As we continue to transform our relationship with the region from one of donor-recipient to one of mature partners in development, it will become increasingly important that our investments at the regional level through CARICOM, CARIFORUM, or organisations such as CROSQ and Caribbean Export, resonate at the national level.The diplomat told the delegates that they should use the event “as an unfiltered lens for determining whether the facilities were the right tools for the job of member states in their efforts.“If not, you should also provide practical solutions as to what might be better tools, or if we need to change the job description,” she said, urging them to get beyond the rhetoric to address various pertinent questions including did the facilities work as the right vehicle for support at the national level and what can be done differently.Tramacere said that over the past decade, the EU has invested approximately EUR 37 million (One EURO=US$1.29 cents) in support of the CSME and another EUR 46.5 million to support EPA implementation.“As we move into the 11th EDF (European Development Fund), it is imperative that our continued support is premised on demonstrated utility, efficiency, and value-for-money from our previous investments. This is not only a requirement of our EU taxpayers, but a commitment to the citizens of the Caribbean,” she told the workshop. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related10th EDF capacity building project in CARIFORUM launchedMarch 26, 2015In “Business”EURO$346M deal struck between EU, CARIFORUMJune 12, 2015In “Business”CARIFORUM prepared for 11th EDFSeptember 18, 2013In “Local News” read more