An official Parliamentary petition asking the Department for Education (DfE) to include expressive arts in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) has been signed by over 70,000 people. If 100,000 people sign the petition by 9 May, the EBacc will be debated in the House of Commons.
The new EBacc proposals would require every pupil to study English, maths, a science, a humanities subject (defined as only history or geography) and a language (ancient and modern) and would rank schools on performance in only these subjects, excluding the arts altogether. By focussing on a narrow range of subjects at GCSE, creative industry relevant qualifications are being put at risk.
Figures have already shown a drop in arts GCSEs being taken over the last few years, with a small increase taking place following the retraction of the EBacc at the start of 2013. (See notes below.) When announcing the previous EBacc u-turn in 2013, Michael Gove proposed ‘a more balanced and meaningful accountability system’ which would reflect achievement across a wide range of eight subjects.
Key industry figureheads and organisations, including Making Music alongside many of our members, have come together to publicly voice their concerns.