Jude Kelly OBE criticises new music education plans

Jude Kelly OBE, Southbank CentreJude Kelly OBE used her acceptance speech at the Gold Badge Awards ceremony yesterday to urge the music industry to question government plans for a new Baccalaureate education system.

Kelly, who has been Artistic Director of London’s Southbank Centre since 2005, told music industry luminaries gathered for the awards that she was deeply concerned about the lack of music representation in the Baccalaureate system currently being lauded by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

She explained that government plans to introduce the principles of the International Baccalaureate, which would reform both GCSE level and A level qualifications, could damage music education across Britain.

‘It is dopey to underestimate the value of music learning for children in nurturing wisdom, creativity and communication. It is important that the music fraternity come together on this,’ she said.

Last month, Gove announced that the GCSE exam in England will be replaced in core subjects by a qualification called the English Baccalaureate Certificate.

The new initiative will involve a shake-up of the exam system, bringing a single end-of-course exam and one exam board for core subjects.

Pupils beginning secondary school this year will take the first new exams – in English, maths and sciences – in 2017.

Earlier this week, Gove also announced intentions to reform the A level system too.

Kelly received a Gold Badge Award yesterday for her services to music. Beatles producer Sir George Martin and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason were also honoured. The annual event is organised by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music.