Creative subjects continue to decline in the EBacc age

In an article with the Telegraph campaign supporter and Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe writes:

'The Government's aspiration is to encourage a massive increase in the take-up of EBacc to 90 per cent of all pupils. Its argument is that this will give many more pupils access to a set of rigorous traditional academic subjects which will give them the best chance of progressing to the top universities and good careers.

This aspiration, however, is hugely controversial for a variety of reasons. One of these is that many school leaders regard the choice of subjects in EBacc as too narrow.

Our concern is that an unintended consequence of requiring so many pupils to study EBacc will be to skew the curriculum because the intense focus on this specific combination of subjects will crowd out other valid subjects from the timetable.

We could, for instance, see entries for creative subjects such as music and drama declining to the point at which these subjects are no longer viable.’

This is backed up by a 7.7% decline in the uptake of creative subjects at key stage four.

​This is backed up by a 7.7% decline in the uptake of creative subjects at key stage four.

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Subject2010201120122013201420152016% decline since 2015
Arts and Design17250416798016381816789417772061811171701146.08%
Design & Technology2704012384832266562060442001331921831735329.70%
Media/Film/TV Studies6368562915574515953655005584965120912.46%
Performance/Expressive Arts219172121119901191881960719563176769.65%
​Total (Arts)​672028624506​595401​578513​580232​580341​524583​7.75%
​Total (All subjects)ValueValueValueValueValue483571248162790.40%