Former students of a Sheffield secondary school have backed a fundraising campaign which would allow teachers to run GCSE music next year after the subject was axed due to too few pupils choosing it.
Tom Bennett, a former pupil of Tapton School in Crosspool, and 61 other alumni expressed their concern at the decision to withdraw music as a GCSE subject in the coming academic year and urged the school's leadership team to rethink the decision.
In a letter written to the school’s leaders and governors, they said they recognised that the decision to withdraw a subject is ‘not taken lightly’, and that schools are under ‘enormous pressures’ but urged them to reconsider and give today's pupils the same opportunities that they were given.
Following this a fundraising campaign was set up to raise £12,000 to fund the Music GCSE and allow students to study their preferred course from September 2019 - much to the delight of the alumni.
Tom said: "Tapton has been known for its commitment to music for many years. Many of us who went to school went there in large to benefit from it.
“It is desperately sad to see the school struggling to provide musical education at GCSE level because of financial constraints. Music is not a subject that can easily be missed out and picked up again later.
“If pupils cannot take GCSE music, chances are they will not be in a position to take A-level music, which in turn reduces the likelihood of studying music at university.
“So if the school cannot run a GCSE music course, those pupils who wanted to study it may well be precluded from studying the subject at more advanced levels. As a nation, we've produced some of the world's best musicians.
“If we want to continue to have world-class musicians, orchestras, choirs, composers and conductors in the future, we need to provide the opportunities to children to learn music throughout their school years."
Co Headteachers Kat Rhodes and Adrian May said “We are really happy with the words of encouragement we have received from across the city and particularly from our alumni. So far we have nearly raised £1000. We recognise that times are hard for everybody. It’s great to know that people really care.”
Tapton School has also produced a host of famous alumni, including Rick ‘Sav’ Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis, the founding members of Def Leppard.
However, bassist Rick is the only one who continues to play with the Rock band, alongside lead singer Joe Elliott, drummer Rick Allen and guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell.
The hope is to make the band aware of the campaign, which can be viewed by clicking here.
So far £950 has been raised towards the total of £12,000 which is needed to run the course.
A final decision on the course will be made at the end of May.