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Publication Detail
The Provision of Music in Special Education (PROMISE) 2015
  • Publication Type:
    Chapter
  • Authors:
    Welch GF, Ockelford A, Zimmermann SA, Wilde E
  • Publisher:
    International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc)
  • Publication date:
    01/09/2016
  • Place of publication:
    UCL Institute of Education
  • Pagination:
    292, 303
  • Editors:
    Graça Boal-Palheiros
  • Status:
    Published
  • Book title:
    International Perspectives on Research in Music Education
  • Keywords:
    music, special educational needs, provision, survey
  • Notes:
    Proceedings of the 26th International Seminar of the ISME Commission on Research, London 18-22 July 2016
Abstract
The paper reports the outcomes of a national survey of music in special schools in England that was conducted in the summer of 2015. The survey sought to uncover the current state of affairs in the sector, whilst also allowing a comparison to be made with the findings of a related study undertaken at the end of the last century. The survey outcomes also provide contextual data to inform the design of a current wider national initiative to improve the overall effectiveness of music education in the UK for all children (the inspire-music project). In total, fifty-seven special schools responded to the on-line survey. Findings suggest that music is taught at least weekly to 95% of children aged 2–13 years (noting that 5–13 are the statutory ages for music in mainstream schools), with slightly smaller proportions for 14–16 year- olds (83%), an age group for whom music becomes an optional subject in mainstream schools, and less for the oldest age group (66% of 16–19 year-olds). Eighty per cent of schools reported that they employed a specialist music teacher, which appears to be a much higher proportion of musically qualified staffing than almost two decades earlier. Where schools have a formal music curriculum, over half (59%) report that this is specially designed and adapted from existing models, such as the new Sounds of Intent framework. Music was also reported to be a common element in other lessons by 3:4 schools, and common at lunchtimes/break times (2:3). Regular and systematic input from outside music agencies was reported to be relatively common (3:4 schools). Four-fifths of schools had a dedicated music room, and music technology use was commonplace. Music therapy was reported to be available in 1:3 schools, a similar proportion to 1999–2000, but for relatively double the numbers of children (11%, compared to 5% earlier). In addition, virtually all schools (96%) reported children with a particular interest in music and almost all schools felt that music was important. The detailed data imply a clear positive shift since the late 1990s, with more musically qualified staffing, a broader range of resources for the music curriculum, more external organisations available to support music, increased use of music technology and improved music therapy provision. Nevertheless, given the small number of schools responding to the survey compared to those in total within the special schools sector, it is not yet possible to confirm that all children have access to an effective music education.
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