Ex-Conservative Minister Vaizey deplores relentless focus on STEM

Ex-Conservative Minister Ed Vaizey has expressed that the “relentless focus on STEM (in effect the three Rs, and the EBacc) ” should be changed during the debate in Westminster Hall for uplifting music education.

As Vaizey has mentioned to the Members of Parliament (MP), he expressed his dissatisfaction in this statement: 

“…one of the frustrations of working with the former Secretary of State for Education was that while, on the one hand he was a fantastic colleague in supporting me in campaigning for better funding and a clearer organisation for music and arts education, on the other hand his relentless focus on Stem, in effect the three Rs, and the EBacc, meant not only did that cause an enormous amount of confusion for teachers in an ever-shifting curriculum – but a clear signal to them that they would not be rewarded for putting arts and music at centre of their schools.

As he observed, this resulted in how teachers became unwilling to incorporate music into the education system.

“It became this terrible paradox, that teachers became afraid to do that because they felt they would be penalised in the league tables, and that is something that can and must change.”

Vaizey is the former culture minister who administers music education with Henley report in 2010. It was later joined by a British politician, Michael Gove.

James Frith, the Labour MP for Bury North, a former musician and the one who also secured the debate in Westminster Hall, stated that “the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is not something you can ‘fix in the mix.’ You have to re-record it.”  

Frith supported that music should be included in the EBacc for it to be part of the core education for students.

The school minister, Nick Gibb, also encourage during the talk by saying “this funky Gibb will and does stand up for music in our schools.”

Gibb revealed in a tweet that the soon-to-be published model music curriculum aims to provide assistance by having detailed school curriculum specifically for teaching music. It will help to make lesson plans to be easier and lighten the pressure that the teachers may carry.