Deborah Annetts

Deborah Annetts is Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), the UK’s fastest-growing representative body for musicians, with close on 11,000 members. She has led a major change programme at the ISM covering every aspect of its work from setting up its sister charity, the ISM Trust, to developing a campaigning function focused on supporting the music sector and musicians. These campaigns cover music education, COVID-19, Brexit, and copyright.

Deborah set up the Bacc for the Future campaign in 2012 which represents over 200 industry, creative and educational organisations and over 100,000 individuals. The campaign is calling for the reform of the EBacc and wants to see steps taken to ensure that a truly broad and balanced curriculum is delivered in UK schools.

Deborah also set up the APPG for Music Education to support this work and it has been a focal point for the ISM’s advocacy with Parliamentarians. In February 2019, under the auspices of the APPG for Music Education, the ISM, together with the University of Sussex, published the ‘Music Education: State of the Nation’ report, which details the scale of the crisis facing music education in England, due to Government policy around accountability measures and the curriculum. The report is continually referenced by policy makers in music education and also broader education policy discussions.

The ISM’s latest report, ‘The heart of the school is missing’, was published in December 2020, and gathered research from across the four nations on the adverse impact COVID-19 has had on music provision in UK schools. Outside of the ISM, Deborah is Chair of the Educational Recording Agency (ERA).