There’s a chapter in my forthcoming book, Singing in the Lower Secondary School, that deals with what OFSTED have to say about the subject. In simple terms, they say (a) that KS3 (lower secondary) is the weakest link in music, (b) singing is the weakest part of KS3 music, and (c) boys’ participation (or lack of it) is the weakest part of singing. So why aren’t schools all over the country in special measures because their KS3 singing is so poor? Why aren’t head teachers in a panic about it?
I’ve been asking a few head teachers that very question. The answers I’ve received are that OFSTED aren’t getting the message across. It’s all very well fulminating in a triennial report, but if this is not being communicated to senior managements, and there are mixed messages sent out by government about the importance of music, the next triennial subject report is going to be very similar to the last two.
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