Beds, Herts & Bucks

Sam Smith's former school drops music GCSE due to lack of interest

Sam Smith Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Only three pupils chose to study GCSE music at Sam Smith's former school

Sam Smith's former school has announced it plans to drop music at GCSE level, due to a lack of interest.

The Grammy Award winner and chart-topper attended St Mary's Catholic School, in Bishop's Stortford.

But, as reported by the Herts and Essex Observer, music will not be a option for year 10 students next year, as only three pupils chose to study it.

Headmaster Andrew Celano said it was a "difficult decision" and the pupils' interest would still be supported.

"We have already committed to support them through curriculum-time music tuition so that their studies can continue and we remain very focused on all the performing arts," he said.

Image copyright Geograph: Thomas Nugent
Image caption St Mary's Catholic School said it would teach the subject again in the future

After leaving the school, Smith went on to have number one records around the world, and this year won an Oscar for the Bond theme "Writing's On The Wall".

Singer/songwriter and tutor Joanna Eden gave Smith private singing lessons when he was 10-years-old, and continued until he was 18.

She said it was a shame that only three pupils had opted to take the subject at GCSE level, but perhaps not surprising.

"Sam Smith was very, very lucky because his parents saw him, heard him and were desperate to support him," Ms Eden said.

"If they didn't have the means, we wouldn't have Sam Smith. That's because music in schools has shrunk.

"If they [pupils] haven't got that sense of empowerment and belief that music could ever be something for them, they're just not going to choose it."

The school said it had a "strong tradition" of music learning and would run the course again in the future.

Sam Smith's publicist was asked about the school's decision, but declined to comment.

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