Alarm over the decline of German and music

The Times is reporting that results data is showing the number of teenagers studying music and German at A level has fallen to what it calls “perilously low levels”. 

The paper reports that A-level Music entries were down 7% on last year, and German entries were down 4%.

It also notes the decline in the numbers taking A-level French continues, but to a much lower extent (about 1%). By contrast, Spanish entries grew 14% in the year which made it the second fastest growing A-level.

Likewise, Geography entries were up almost 13% and history entries up over 7%.

The ASCL’s Malcolm Trobe is quoted:

“It is disappointing to see a decline in the number of entrants for some subjects… All of these subjects are important in their own right for a range of students, but they generate smaller classes. In the current financial climate, in which 16-19 education funding has been severely cut, this makes it more difficult for schools and colleges to offer these subjects because they cannot afford the teachers for smaller groups of students.”

More at: Alarm over the decline of German and music (subscription may be required)


Your reactions to the various winners and losers in terms of the trends in A-level entries?

Should we be concerned that music, in particular, has perhaps become too expensive for many state schools and state school parents to afford?

Please let us know your insights in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. JayneDillon1

    SchoolsImprove Interesting! My son is taking Spanish & German at GCSE, the German class is much smaller than the Spanish class.

  2. The increasing popularity of Spanish is because it’s a global language.  The Index of Human Development ranks Spanish as the second most important language on earth (English is first, Mandarin third)
    But it’s a shame about the decline in music – it’s facing multiple disadvantages: cost of instruments and school tuition; not being  included in EBacc reducing number of pupils studying at GCSE level.

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