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The Ivors Academy welcomes Edexcel’s admission they “got this decision wrong” when removing Courtney Pine from their A-level curriculum

The Ivors Academy has welcomed Pearson Edexcel’s statement admitting they made an error when dropping Courtney Pine - removing the only black composer and Jazz - from their A-level curriculum.

Courtney Pine Courtney Pine, image by Augustas Didzgalvis

Robert Mitchell, Chair of The Ivors Academy Educational Publishing Working Group, composer, musician and Piano Professor, said:

“I welcome the statement, but we didn’t need to be here. The reinstatement of Jazz and Courtney Pine should be immediate. We are very keen to contribute to broadening the music A-level syllabus for Edexcel. The same goes for other exam boards who are thinking about reducing or changing their curriculum. Now is the time for a way more inclusive, bold and creative syllabus that will inspire, educate and broaden young minds in an ever-smaller world.”

In a statement Pearson Edexcel said:

“The first thing to say is that we got this decision wrong. As a learning company and qualifications provider, we agree entirely that pupils should study music by composers from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and, on this occasion, we have fallen short.

“In order to fix this, we will work together with teachers, learners and a range of stakeholders to carry out a further review of the set works and the wider listening pieces. This will be completed in time for students starting their A Level music studies in September 2021.”

In an article for The Ivors Academy calling for Edexcel to reverse their decision to drop Courtney Pine, Robert said:

“For Pearson Edexcel and for all the exam boards who will affect arts education so deeply whilst it’s over a precipice, I call on you to show resilience and leadership. Reflect what is around you that has more than proven its worth. The study of music increases these very abilities. Please use it to expand souls and minds in ways that this music has, long before there were exam boards.”

As part of its role championing equality, diversity and inclusion in the music industry The Ivors Academy is committed to working with, and supporting, organisations to increase diversity across the music curriculum.

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