Consultation offers chance to make Ofsted pay more attention to music
One of the aims of the Don’t Stop The Music campaign is to get Ofsted, the body that inspects schools, to pay more attention to music. Now, thanks to a new consultation launched by Ofsted, an opportunity has arisen to make this case to the decision-makers themselves.
Currently music isn't mentioned in Ofsted’s framework for school inspections, or the handbook that inspectors use.
“Teachers have told me of school inspections which barely looked at music,” says Don’t Stop The Music champion James Rhodes, “and also of schools getting an ‘outstanding’ rating, even if they offer inadequate music education.”
With its new consultation, ‘Better Inspection For All', Ofsted is looking at altering the way it inspects schools, and wants to gather opinions from anyone interested. Ofsted says that the new inspection framework must place a greater emphasis on the breadth of the curriculum in schools.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to tell Ofsted that it needs to pay specific attention to music,” adds James.
“If Ofsted put music in the inspection framework and handbook, or specified that music must be evaluated properly during regular school inspections, it will get closer scrutiny by inspectors, and head teachers will be more empowered to ensure a good quality music education is part of every child's life.
Already many supporters have Tweeted @JamesRhodesDSTM or commented on the Don’t Stop The Music Facebook page to let us know they have responded to the consultation. “Didn't take long to complete this,” encouraged survey respondent Judith.
Blair meanwhile highlighted the benefits of playing an instrument, saying: “Music is based on mathematics and musical theory is an early programming language. Frequently Good Musicians are Good mathematicians.” While Deborah detailed the response she made in the survey: “I have completed the survey expressing defined views that music should be a strong feature in everyone's curriculum at all stages – it is a language – and that it is immensely important within our society.”
“Please take this valuable opportunity to let Ofsted know just how important music is for children’s education,” says James.
Fill in Ofsted’s Better Inspection For All consultation questionnaire.
Please note: if you only want to respond on the importance given to music education, simply fill in your details then skip to Question 12 (just keep pressing ‘Next’ at the bottom of each pages).
If you need any ideas about what to say, James suggests the following:
> Ofsted MUST include music inspection as part of their inspection regime, and produce evidence of that in their school reports.
> No school should be able to be classed as good or outstanding if it is not at least good or outstanding in music.
> Music is a vital part of the curriculum, and must be properly examined during Ofsted inspections.