Music Education in the United Kingdom Experiences Budget Cuts

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. hindrance / ˈhɪndrəns / (n) – something that prevents or delays

    The expensive tuition has become a hindrance to some poor children.

  2. trigger / ˈtrɪgɚ / (v) – to cause or make something happen

    The scandal triggered a negative public reaction.

  3. relevant / ˈrɛləvənt / (adj) – closely related to something

    The teacher will entertain questions that are relevant to the topic.

  4. exclude / ɪkˈskluːd / (v) – to leave something out

    We excluded the choices that did not meet the criteria.

  5. provision / prəˈvɪʒən / (n) – the act or process of giving something that is needed

    Some teachers are complaining because of the school’s lack of provision of school materials.


Read the text below.

Music education in the United Kingdom is facing budget cuts.

The British music industry has raised concerns about how reduced funding for music education in UK state schools hinders aspiring musicians from pursuing their talents. This hindrance poses a threat to the growth of potential artists.

The issue has become alarming that it triggered a reaction from renowned singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The artist voiced his thoughts about the issue on social media. He mentioned that he, along with other artists, gained a lot from state school music education. Sheeran also pointed out that continuous budget cuts would harm one of Britain’s major exports—music.

One of the factors that contributed to the budget cuts on music education was the implementation of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in the United Kingdom. Introduced in 2010, EBacc is a compilation of subjects that the government perceives to be relevant to young students. This list of courses includes core subjects like math and science and excludes creative subjects like music.

According to the University of Sussex [SUHS-iks], the introduction of EBacc negatively affected music education in 59.7% of state schools in terms of provision of music and number of registrations.

Apart from music, other creative subjects like art, drama, and design are also subject to budget cuts. John Kampfner, the former CEO of the Creative Industries Federation, shared that some schools reported that creative subjects are perceived as easier alternatives to core subjects.

Despite this perception, Kampfner believes that these subjects should be prioritized because they produce artists who contribute to the development of the growing music industry.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think music education should have the same budget allocation as core subjects? Why or why not?
• Aside from formal education, what other initiatives can be done to provide music education to students (e.g. clubs, specialized lessons)?

Discussion B

• What do you think is the importance of creative subjects? Explain.
• In your opinion, which among the creative subjects is the most useful? Why?