Exam board forced to include female composers on A-level music syllabus by teenager’s campaign

The Independent is reporting that Edexcel has been forced to change its A-level music syllabus after a teenager won her campaign to ensure female composers were studied on the course.

Twyford student Jessy McCabe launched a petition last month after discovering there were no women amongst the 63 composers featured on the Edexcel program, which covers a range of musical genres and eras, and none on the exam board’s proposed syllabus for next year.

The Girls’ Day School Trust, the UK’s leading network of independent girls’ schools, joined leading academics and composers in backing Ms McCabe’s campaign.

At a meeting this week the 17-year-old received a personal apology from Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Edexcel’s parent company Pearson, and an assurance that the course will change…

Ms McCabe, who is currently studying maths, music and history at Twyford Church of England High School in London, told The Independent: “There’s been a lot of progress. I didn’t think it would be as easy [to change the syllabus] as it was, but Edexcel have been great – they automatically saw the need to rectify this and are making changes as soon as possible for the new course.

“They are also reviewing their other qualifications to ensure they are diverse and inclusive. They are speaking to lots of specialists in the industry and leading academics to see who they feel should be included – and to senior examiners because there are Ofqual guidelines which they have to set.”

…Ms McCabe is not resting on her laurels and has already written to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, as she wants to “roll this process out to other exam boards”…

More at: Exam board forced to include female composers on A-level music syllabus by teenager’s campaign


Update: the initial version of this copied a typo from the original article in both the text above and the quote in the image (“role out” not “roll out” – now corrected – thanks to those who pointed it out)


Well done Jessy McCabe for not only raising this issue but actually getting change to happen.

And well done to Edexcel for responding the way they have.

Time for the other boards to follow suit now?

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  1. Busy Mum

    Does this mean a more-deserving male composer will now be dropped? If so, positive sexism at work here and all who believe in a meritocracy should refuse to study A level music!

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