Update (July 2017): Government response to consultation
Despite an official Parliamentary petition asking the Department for Education (DfE) to include expressive arts in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) being signed by over 100,000 people and triggering a Parliamentary debate, the government has now announced that they intend to press ahead with the EBacc.
The Bacc for the Future campaign is back again following the Department for Education’s announcement of plans to introduce a compulsory list of subjects at GCSE level.
It is crazy that we should have to be fighting this battle all over again! Countless studies throughout the world have PROVED that children do better in their other subjects if they study music and play an instrument. We are lagging behind countries like China that have recognised this and where children playing instruments and studying music in school is the norm. The UK is missing out on talent in an area which has been of enormous benefit to the UK’s economy and prestige and these short-sighted proposals will exacerbate the problem.
As the organisation for amateur music in the UK we know that the 170,000+ individuals - singers and players - who make up our membership of 3,000+ groups are passionate about the benefits that have accrued to them personally, to their working lives and to their communities through their ability to engage with music. This ability is a gift most of them received during their time in compulsory full-time education. Our members are therefore dismayed that access to music and its manifold benefits - just as they are increasingly proven by numerous studies - is being denied to the next generation due to the narrow focus of the proposed EBacc.