Royal Liberty School headteacher remains 'hopeful' that music will return after scrapping it from curriculum
PUBLISHED: 11:00 16 May 2019
A headteacher of a school that will scrap music from its curriculum says the decision was made with "much sadness" as they had been unsuccessful in recruiting a new music teacher.
A letter sent out to Year 7's parents and carers at The Royal Liberty School, Upper Brentwood Road, Gidea Park, from headteacher April Saunders stated that music will be axed from September 2019.
It said: "I know many of you will be disappointed with this decision but hope you understand that we believe it is better to offer students lessons in subjects where we are able to provide high quality teaching with specialist staff."
Parents along with past and present students have expressed their thoughts on the situation.
Caroline Day said it was "absolutely ridiculous" and that it is "proven that music and the arts are good for health in much the same way as exercise", Charlie Wilkins said "life without music would be chaos", while Beverley Pugh thought "if the school can't secure a decent teacher then maybe it's a good thing?
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"The school do pride themselves with trying to offer the best."
A current Year 11 student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "It's a damn shame to see music go downhill like it has, as I have a few good friends in Year 9 who are intensely passionate about music and the arts who will now never get to study it."
Speaking to the Recorder, Ms Saunders said that over the last four years, only 43 out of 480 Key Stage 4 students had chosen to study music at GCSE.
But there is still hope as she says the school is still trying to recruit a new music teacher.
"It is with much sadness that I have decided to withdraw music from the curriculum.
"There is a shortage of qualified and experienced music teachers and, despite several attempts, we have been unsuccessful in recruiting a permanent music teacher.
"As part of the Success for All Educational Trust, we are already looking at staffing in this and I am hopeful that, through this collaboration, we will be able to reinstate GCSE music in the future."