I have today been informed, in writing, by Edexcel that they have
decided not to seek re-accreditation for GCE Music and Music
Technology from QCA.
This in effect means that they are not going to offer these A level
subjects after 2009 – thus the last AS intake of students will be
in September 2007.
The reasons given behind this decision are (and I quote)
….’ We believe that the complexity of the current assessment model
and constraints of the new subject criteria have made it impossible
to produce a sustainable specification which will be attractive to
schools and colleges. Therefore our strategy is to focus on the
BTEC Music and Music Technology provision which has proved popular
in our centres. We hope that centres will choose to move to the
appropriate BTEC National Awards in Music and Music Technology….’
This decision has been reached without ANY consultation from senior
examiners. I have not been asked to attend any meetings about this
matter, or to submit my opinions or ideas in relation to the
‘viability’ of a new music technology syllabus. QCA have created
separate subject criteria for Music Technology, and these would, in
my opinion, make it feasible to develop a very creative and
attractive qualification for schools and colleges.
There appears to have been little thought given to the implications of this decision. As the sole examination board providing Music Technology, this decision in effect kills off A level music technology – at a time when student numbers are growing, centre
investment in resources has been significant, and university acceptance of the subject is good.
The assumption that centres will migrate easily to BTEC is at best
naïve and at worst demonstrates a total lack of understanding of
the two very different qualifications. The majority of centres
offering AS and A2 do not offer BTEC qualifications and are
unlikely to do so.
I would urge you to help force Edexcel to reconsider this decision by sending an email or letter to various interested parties such as the Chief Exec of Edexcel, Mr Jerry Jarvis
email@example.com, QCA, your local MP or another interested supportive party. I believe that it would be very useful to enlist the assistance of your Headteacher or Principal in securing additional writing communication to Edexcel about this matter, and please feel free to print out a copy of this letter and
show it to them.
It is my considered opinion that we must unite to stop an American PLC (Pearson who own Edexcel) dictating the content and format of music education within the UK, and that we must ensure that future generations of students have the ability to study and be accredited with, GCE AS and A2 qualifications in Music Technology.
If you have any suggestions as to how we can progress this campaign over the next few days, please feel free to email me.
Yours truly, Andrew J Kitchenham, Chair of Examiners, Music Technology