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Gove : Music Reacts

The Henley report outlined serious concerns about the implications of losing creative arts and music studies as recognised subjects within the English Baccalaureate qualification.

NAtalie Taylor

U-turns terrify politicians, lest they prove contagious.

Michael Gove admitting that the EBacc was a mistake will be spun by party spokesmen as the logical act of a man big enough to accept that he has made a mistake, and practical enough to set about remedying it.

But politics depends upon the smoke-and-mirrors of posturing infallibility, and at the very least, ritual career suicide when that infallibility is exposed as a fantasy. If all that time, money and rhetoric spent defending the EBacc turns out to have been wasted on a mistake, what is there to convince the electorate that any other coalition proposal is any less mistaken? A tiny seed of doubt, the type from which mighty oaks may grow.

And it’s not as if he wasn’t warned. Right from the start, education professionals warned mouthbreather Gove that his proposals would have disastrous effects on children, teachers, and on the UK’s competitivity as a workforce.

Henley Business School were one of the many agitators, repeatedly pointing out the folly of an educational syllabus that would have marginalised the creative arts. This is not just rhetoric, Britain’s share of trade in recorded music is four times the UK’s overall share of world trade in goods, and more than double its share of trade in services. UK Film contributes over £4.6bn to UK GDP and more than £1.3bn to the Exchequer. Art, music, drama – the subjects Gove imagined as namby-pamby soft options, offer the UK one its best chances at global dominance. In something.

Henley Business School, who run an MBA in the Music Business sent us their take on the matter:


The news is that Michael Gove has had his reforms quashed following lobbying from the world of rock and other governing bodies from the creative arts industries. In direct consultation over the proposed reforms and one of the organisations at the centre of this campaign to save music education in schools, Henley Business School are pleased that their report presented to Michael Gove this month has been one of many to successfully cause a rethink on the proposed policies.

Henley Business School’s staunch support of the music industry in their considered report (submitted to Cameron and Gove in favour of music and the Arts) and their planned media conference later this month with named artists has assisted the music industry in securing the education secretary’s climbdown against changes to GCSE’S and their proposed sidelining of music and the arts.

Henley Business School Logo

“We are pleased to have added our weight to this significant campaign which had far reaching implications in the UK”. Helen Gammons, Programme Director, Henley MBA for the Music Business.

The Henley report outlined serious concerns about the implications of losing creative arts and music studies as recognised subjects within the English Baccalaureate qualification. Under the proposed reforms schools would have been forced to focus their energies on the scientific and academic standards of their students, with little time or resources to encourage participation in subjects not relative to the Baccalaureate.

Henley’s key concern being the potential loss of music within education, resulting in a creative vacuum which would have damaged the Music Industry as a whole.

It seems the combined efforts of the music industry to save music education for the young creative talents of tomorrow has succeeded and Henley Business School are pleased to have been a key component in this action.

Nitin Sawhney – Composer/Artist/Musician “Music is not simply just about education – it’s the one language that allows complete expression of the soul.  If we lose it we lose the truest voice we have”.

Sidebar Illustration by Natalie Taylor

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