Musical Futures: impact on participation and attainment at Key Stage 4
A research report by York Consulting has shown that Musical Futures is significantly associated with increased pupil participation in Music at Key Stage 4 (GCSEs and BTECs combined), but that there is no significant relationship with pupils’ GCSE attainment. Schools that made the most substantial use of Musical Futures approaches to teaching, had a higher proportion of pupils opting to take music at Key Stage 4. The research gathered data from 230 schools in England about their usage of Musical Futures approaches, and analysed their pupils’ participation and attainment data.
Musical Futures offers a combined innovative philosophy and approach to music teaching and learning. The central thrust of the approach is that music learning works best when young people are making music. The programme started in schools in England in 2003, and through continued PHF support, has been rolled out across the rest of the UK since 2011.
Although not one of Musical Futures’ explicit objectives, a number of teachers have linked the introduction of Musical Futures approaches to improvements in pupil participation and achievement at Key Stage 4. We commissioned York Consulting to explore whether these relationships could be tested quantitatively and then to undertake the research. The full report contains further information about the quantitative analysis as well as findings from the survey about Musical Futures usage in schools.