Our consultation response

This is a short response from the Bacc for the Future campaign to the Department for Education’s Consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate[1] published on 3 November 2015. This response is primarily in answer to consultation Question 1: ‘What factors do you consider should be taken into account in making decisions about which pupils should not be entered for the EBacc?’

Why are we concerned?

1. The EBacc performance table has harmed the uptake of creative subjects in secondary school and the new EBacc measure will have an even more significant impact

When the EBacc was first proposed, the number of students taking GCSEs in creative subjects declined. Some subjects have seen a small recovery in uptake since the announcement of the Progress-8 and Best-8 headline school accountability measures. This narrative is supported by figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications[2] and Cultural Learning Alliance.[3],[4]

However, the Department for Education do not recognise this narrative, instead citing their own figures concerning the uptake of arts subjects at GCSE level.[5]

The figures used by the Department for Education are incomplete: these figures omit key creative industry relevant subjects like Design & Technology, and omit BTEC qualifications (including some qualifications that were approved by the Wolf Review of Vocational Qualifications) whilst inexplicably including early entry AS levels.

We have asked for complete figures from the Department for Education but are still waiting for these at the time of writing.

The figures used by the Department for Education also refer to a time period when the EBacc was proposed and introduced as a performance table only (2011 to 2015). The statistical release also fails to mention the launch of the Progress 8 and Best 8 accountability measures on 7 February 2013; Progress 8 and Best 8 allow creative industry relevant GCSEs and Wolf Review approved vocational qualifications to count towards league tables.

These figures also relate to the period 2011 to 2015 and do not fully relate to the proposal currently being put forward by the Department for Education.

The new proposals – for two new EBacc headline accountability measures – would result in pupils being required to be entered into and/or pass a minimum of seven GCSEs to count towards the EBacc measure. It is envisaged that this would become all but compulsory for many pupils in secondary schools.

The average number of qualifications taken by Key Stage 4 pupils is 9.2, and the average number of GCSEs taken by Key Stage 4 pupils is 8.1.[6]

A compulsory EBacc will leave little, if any, room for rigorous, challenging creative subjects which have been approved by the Government’s own Wolf Review of vocational education.[7]

In total, based on 2015 figures, over 280,000 students would have had to drop at least one subject in order to take the full suite of EBacc subjects. More specifically, 225,000 students would have had to take a foreign language instead of subjects ranging from music and art & design to design & technology and engineering, and 136,000 students would have had to drop a subject and take history or geography instead.

Additional concerns:

Wider concerns about access to the arts have also been reported by London's Unicorn Theatre, which found that schools groups attending the venue had fallen by 6% in the last year.[8] Independent Theatre Council chief executive Charlotte Jones has warned of an ‘unprecedented collapse’ in the schools’ market.

In an extract from the Warwick report[9], this evidence was corroborated, with data suggesting the number of children taking part in cultural activities (not necessarily the same as curriculum development but an indicator nonetheless):

‘There are also worrying trends towards a decrease in participation by children in most cultural activities, documented by the Taking Part data: between the years 2008/9 and 2013/14, the proportion of 5-10 year olds who engaged in dance activities dropped from 43.1% to 30.4%; participation in music activities dropped from 55.3% to 37.2%; participation in theatre and drama activities dropped from 47.1% to 32.1%; arts and crafts activities dropped from 80% participation to 75.7%.’

In addition to these concerns we note that: Between November 2011 and November 2014 the number of teachers teaching creative subjects declined by 13.1% compared to 1.4% overall.[10] The number of hours taught in creative subjects in secondary schools declined.

2. There is not a clear rationale behind the EBacc proposal

The consultation document published by the Department for Education contains a number of arguments in favour of the EBacc. It is not however clear that these arguments make the case for the EBacc proposal as put forward by the Department for Education.

Cited evidence
Does the cited evidence support the EBacc?

These are subjects that higher education institutions (in particular the Russell Group of Universities) value. These subjects ‘keep options open.’[11]

No. The Russell Group have not published the evidence behind their report Informed Choices from which the list of EBacc subjects was originally derived.[12] There is some evidence that the list is not correct.[13],[14] Russell Group academics have expressed concern at the choice of subjects in the EBacc,[15] as have a range of higher education representatives.[16]

Business (specifically the CBI) is cited as a supporter of the importance of language skills.

No. Both universities and businesses (including the CBI[17]) have asked the Government to think again on the exclusion of arts subjects from the EBacc.

The Department for Education cite literacy and numeracy as a concern.[18]

No. This is not directly relevant to the proposals as ‘% of pupils achieving a good pass in English and mathematics’ is already one of the headline accountability measures.

The Department for Education cites Science Council research in support of science within the EBacc.

No. Science is already part of the national Curriculum at Key Stage 4.[19] It is not therefore clear why this argument is relevant to the imposition of the EBacc.

The Department for Education has expressed concern at the relatively low uptake of EBacc subjects among children from more deprived backgrounds.

No. This is concerning, but it is also true for some creative industry relevant subjects.[20]

‘Many countries with education systems that perform more highly than England make an academic core of subjects compulsory to 16.’

No. Whilst this is an accurate statement, it is also true of some arts and creative industry relevant subjects.[21]

3. The creative economy is important

On 25 November 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said ‘Britain’s not just brilliant at science. It’s brilliant at culture too. One of the best investments we can make as a nation is in our extraordinary arts, museums, heritage, media and sport.’[22]

On 26 January 2016 Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey, said: ‘The creative industries are one of the UK’s greatest success stories … Growing at almost twice the rate of the wider economy and worth a staggering £84 billion a year, our Creative Industries are well and truly thriving and we are determined to ensure its continued growth and success.’

We endorse these statements and encourage the Department for Education to recognise the economic importance of creative subjects in schools.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Figures published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport this week[23] have indicated that the UK’s creative industries are continuing to grow.

  • The UK’s creative industries grew by 8.9 per cent in 2014 – almost double UK economy as a whole.
  • The UK’s creative industries are now worth a record £84.1 billion to the UK economy, generating nearly £9.6million per hour.
  • The creative industries account for 1.8 million jobs.

Conclusion: What the Government should do next

This proposed EBacc measure is not coherent as a strategy to tackle low attainment or close the disadvantage gap.

The measure itself, adding two new headline accountability measures into the school accountability system is needlessly bureaucratic and goes against the Conservative Party Manifesto’s[24] commitment to ensure that ‘parents and teachers should be empowered to run their schools independently.’

In addition, the Government’s welcome commitment to the creative industries is being put at risk by this proposal which will risk devaluing creative subjects in schools.[25]

We would encourage the Department for Education to rethink its approach to school accountability to ensure – to the extent that an accountability system is in place – that creative subjects are given parity with other subjects in the school accountability system and are given the same emphasis that the creative industries are given by HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Appendix 1 – About Bacc for the Future

Bacc for the Future is a campaign network of 171 businesses and educational organisations from across the creative industries and education sectors that is concerned at the English Baccalaureate proposals being put forward by the Department for Education.

At the time of writing, the campaign network includes 24,173 artists, designers, musicians, dancers, teachers and parents.

A further 48,973 individuals have already signed up to a Parliamentary Petition expressing a similar view.

The 171 organisation supporters currently listed as part of the Bacc for the Future campaign are as follows:

1Hub Media, Aardman Animations, A New Direction, Academy of Ancient Music, Academy of Contemporary Music, Access Arts, Action for Children's Arts, a-n, Alfred Publishing, AMiE, A New Direction, Anglepoise, Apollo Music Projects, Art in Perpetuity Trust, Arts Learning Consortium (ALC), Arts Professional, Association of British Choral Directors, Association of British Orchestras, Association of Contemporary Jewellery , Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), Association of Teachers of Singing (AOTOS), Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS), Attik Dance, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Battersea Arts Centre, Bethan Gray, Big Draw, Birmingham City University (BCU), Birmingham Conservatoire, Black Cat Music, Bow Arts, British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech, British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, BRIT School for performing arts and Technology, C8 Associates, Candoco Dance Company, Central School of Ballet, Centre for Young Musicians, Charanga, Chetham's School of Music, Cheshire Dance, Chisenhale Gallery, City Scapes, Choir Schools' Association, Cog Design, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, Crafts Council, Creative Industries Federation, Creative United, Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA), D4, Dalcroze UK, Dance UK, Deadgood, Design and Arts Copyright Society (DACS), Design Council, Design & Technology Association, Design Museum, Digital Theatre plus, Digital Theatre, Directors UK, Drama UK, Edge Foundation, English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), English Touring Theatre, EPTA UK, Equity, European Guitar Teachers Association (EGTA), Exuberant Trust, Fairfield Halls, Flaming Skirt Festival, Featured Artists Coalition, Globe Education, Greenwich Dance, Greenwich Music School, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Help Musicians UK, Hereford College of Arts, Heritage Crafts Association, hitch|mylius, Homemcr, Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), IMG Artists, Index on Censorship, Indigo-Ltd, Industry Trust, Intermusica, Ixia, Jackdaws Music Education Trust, League of Culture, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), Living the Dream, London Design Festival, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, Magnus Long Design Studio, Making Music, Midi Music Company, MMF (Music Managers Forum), MMA, Mountview Academy of Theatre Studies, Mouse Trap Theatre Projects, Mundo Music Gear, Museums Association, Musical Futures, Music Education Council, Music Education Solutions, Music for little people, Music Industries Association, Music Publishers Association , Music Workshop Company, Musicians' Union, National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), National Association for Music in Higher Education, National Campaign for the Arts (NCA), National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA), National Drama, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), National Students Drama Festival (NSDF), National Union of Teachers (NUT), National Union of Journalists (NUJ), New Writing South, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Orchestras Live, Paying Artists, Poetry London, Potclays LTD, Pop 4 Schools, Protein, Radio Independents Group, Rambert, Richard Alston Dance Company, Royal Academy of Arts, Royal British Society of Sculptors, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Society, Rural Media Company, RSL (Rockschool Ltd), Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, Society of London Theatre, Society of Producers and Composers of Applied Music, Sound Connections, Southbank Sinfonia, South London Gallery, Standing Conference of University Drama Departments, Stopgap Dance Company, Studio Octopi, Streetwise Opera, Tamasha Theatre Company, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Trowbridge Symphony Orchestra, Thames Baths, Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA), The Hepworth Wakefield, The Tutor Pages, The Spark Arts for Children, twentytwentyone, Turner Contemporary, University of the Arts London, Ukadia, Unsigned Guide, UK Theatre, Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK), Voluntary Arts, You Invent, Youth Dance England, Youth Music.

Appendix 2 – Comments from Bacc for the Future supporters

John Smith, General Secretary, Musicians' Union

‘Young people who study creative subjects whilst at school are the performers and audience members of the future. The MU is extremely concerned that the Department for Education’s proposals, which would make the EBacc all but compulsory in schools, could make it almost impossible for children to continue to study subjects such as music or drama. In an ideal world, all young people would have the opportunity to learn to sing or play an instrument outside of school subjects, but unfortunately that is not an option for some children. It is therefore all the more important to ensure that young people who develop an interest in creative subjects are able to pursue them throughout their school career without falling foul of the restrictive subject choices in the EBacc.’

Christine Payne, General Secretary, Equity:

‘As artists and as trade unionists it is our responsibility to safeguard the future of our industries, to inspire the next generation of performers and audiences and to defend the societal, economic and cultural value of our industries. All children and young people should have the opportunity to experience drama as a subject in its own right, taught by teachers trained in drama, and enhanced through cultural partnerships.’

John Mathers, Chief Executive, Design Council:

‘Design education is absolutely fundamental to the future success of the UK. If it is going to continue to compete with the biggest economies worldwide, the UK must invest in the next generation of innovators who are going to drive long-term growth and prosperity: and that means design.

‘Science and maths alone cannot provide the creative thinking and hands-on expertise that is essential to producing world-class designers and engineers. An understanding of design and technology ensures that students are equipped with the tools to thrive in an increasingly fast- paced, innovation-hungry marketplace.

‘Big business today understands the importance of fusing technical skills with a creative, design-led approach. We need to maintain the quality of education so that they have the skills they need to grow, and so that the next generation can compete on that world stage.’

Richard Green, Chief Executive, Design and Technology Association :

‘A couple of weeks back I received an email from a Design and Technology teacher in a Dorset school. She said, “We are a creative nation, with designers spanning the globe in all areas of the industry. Several years ago, our school won a patent awards competition and at the award ceremony, Lord Sainsbury in his speech stated that, ‘… design and innovation is our biggest export.’ Without schools encouraging and emboldening students to explore the possibilities of design not only will this ‘export’ be lost, but so too will our native desire to explore and transform.” I couldn’t put it better!’

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive, Creative United:

'The UK currently enjoys a flourishing and diverse creative sector which is admired the world over. The growth of the creative industries is currently three times greater than that of the wider UK economy. Figures published by DCMS in January 2015 show that the creative industries are worth £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy and account for 1.71 million jobs, about 5.6% of the UK total.

This success can only continue where it is underpinned by an excellent education system, nurturing the young talent which is the lifeblood of the creative sector. By stripping creativity out of the core curriculum, the new Ebacc proposals will leave the creative sector without a future workforce. In order to achieve growth, jobs, and a balanced budget, Government must continue to invest in the development of the creative sector through the continued provision of a broad and balanced education for all our children and young people.'

John Habron, Chair, Education and Training Committee, Dalcroze UK:

‘As an organisation committed to a holistic vision of the person and the potential of music and movement to transform learning and performance, Dalcroze UK fully supports ISM's Bacc for the Future campaign. All learning is rooted in the body and so to evaluate education based on a limited number of student competencies is to limit our notion of what it means to be creative, to be ready to respond to the challenges and opportunities of life.’

Lucina Mackworth-Young, Director, Piano Teachers’ Course, EPTA UK said:

‘Music is unique and outstanding in its stimulation of mental development. Children have so many demands on their time; that they will only work for subjects in which they’re being assessed. So, if the E Bacc goes ahead as proposed, music –and all its wonderful benefits- will suffer. What a loss for our nation!’

Rachel Tackley, Director, the English Touring Theatre:

‘It baffles me that this Government is seriously proposing a policy which will jeopardise opportunities for a whole generation of young people. Arts subjects are as equal in importance to a well-rounded education as any other. We must not deprive future generations the opportunity to enjoy, participate or work in creative industries.’

Sarah Gee, Managing Partner, Indigo-Ltd:

‘With the Government’s increasing focus on private philanthropy to support the arts sector; I’m delighted to be involved in training the next generation of arts fundraisers. However, given over twenty years of experience, I know that the best fundraisers combine business skills with creativity and innovation. Without creativity in the curriculum, there must be a fear that the arts - which contribute so much to the UK economy, attract visitors to the country, and fly our national flag around the world - may simply disappear. Don’t let that happen. Please.’

Michael Smith, Founder, Cog Design:

‘The marginalisation of arts subjects indicates a lack of understanding of their vital role in our education ecology. Deliberately dividing subjects in such a regimented way is destructive in itself, all topics benefit from a broad understanding and consideration of the context of other areas of study. To then denigrate arts subjects as literally worthless is educational vandalism.

We risk a society where only those with privilege will study the arts. We risk generations of creative poverty, of engineers, scientists, teachers, and politicians who lack the basic understanding of how to make creative connections, or of why regimented thinking produces incremental results not the great leaps of imagination that transform societies and solve world problems.’

Mark Featherstone-Witty, Founding Principal/CEO, The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts:

‘Despite the Ministers’ recent words, the creative and performing arts are being side-lined. Not so in Wales, where the Expressive Arts are one of the six compulsory ‘areas of learning and experience’. The Valleys will triumph.’

Barbara Eifler, Executive Director, Making Music:

‘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.’

Paul McManus, Chief Executive, Music Industries Association:

‘The MIA remains fully committed to the Bacc for the Future campaign in order to ensure that Ebacc does not harm creative subjects in schools. The Creative Industries are a huge success story for UK plc and this must not be jeopardised by an EBacc that works against this.’

Paul Hoskins, Music Director, Rambert:

‘The absence of arts subjects from the Ebacc, will have bad unintended consequence: not just on the breadth of experiences available to students and schools, but on many of the UK theatres, concert halls and performing organisations, at a time when these are already under serious threat. The economic benefits brought to the UK by future generations of creative people will also be undermined.’

Philip Flood, Director, Sound Connections:

‘Sound Connections believes that music, alongside the other creative subjects, is central to the overall development of young people and should be at the heart of the curriculum.’

Karen Dickinson, Director of Music for Little People:

‘What subject in the early years introduces concepts such as pitch, rhythm, tempo, timbre, beat and notation; provides social cohesion, enhances English language learning and vocabulary, knowledge of the world, mathematical concepts such as sequencing and links all sorts of themes together? Only one – imagine the silence if we don’t have music.’

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive, Incorporated Society of Musicians:

‘The ISM is deeply concerned by proposals to make the EBacc compulsory. Given the Government’s commitment to music education, and recognition of the importance of the UK’s music profession and wider creative industries to the UK economy, it is inconsistent to risk forcing creative education out of schools.’

Marcel Baettig, CEO, Bow Arts:

‘Bow Arts are committed to supporting artists at every stage of their lives and careers, and we know that the arts in schools are the foundation to this success. We support the Bacc for the Future campaign as all young people deserve to have access to a broad curriculum, and the arts are very much central to this.’

Stuart Worden, Principal of The BRIT School for the Performing Arts and Technology:

‘The BRIT school believes in arts education for all young people. It believes in the power of an arts based education to release the potential in young people to express themselves, understand the world and significantly be part of society. It also needs to be said very loudly that the arts contribute hugely to both the economic and cultural strengths of this country and by ignoring the power of the arts in a young person we would be doing a huge disservice to the country and to young people.’

Polly Hamilton, Vice-Chair of Cultural Leisure Officers Association

‘The Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA) is most concerned that the EBacc could prevent many young people from reaching their potential and also have far reaching negative impacts. Taking part in the arts helps to develop well balanced young people with increased levels of confidence and enhanced interpersonal skills. Creative industries are also expanding employment sectors in their own right and we need to encourage skill development of young people within this sector to generate further growth.’

Andrew Burke Chief Executive, London Sinfonietta

‘The London Sinfonietta believes that everyone has the potential to create high quality, and that new music can bring people together and have a positive impact on individuals. Only through opportunity can people unlock their own creativity, which is why the London Sinfonietta supports the Bacc for the Future campaign.’

Jonathan Thackeray, General Manager, Northern Chamber Orchestra

‘I am a musician, former member of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and have been manager of Northern Chamber Orchestra for 15 years. I have seen the benefit of music and music education over many years. We have an active learning and development department and work in primary and secondary schools and see at first hand the benefits to children and how music, through its group activity and the excitement it generates, is essential to well-being and developing the individuals.’

Maria Thomas, Artistic Director, The Music Workshop Company

‘The Music Workshop Company believes in the importance of Arts education for all and are concerned that plans for the new English Baccalaureate will damage creative education in the UK. We are proud to support the ISM's Bacc for the Future campaign.

Samantha Martin, Head of Concerts and Education, Academy of Ancient Music

‘The arts and in particular music have the potential to transform lives and creativity needs to be nurtured by the national curriculum. The EBacc threatens to side-line the arts and doesn’t understand how they can be used to enhance the teaching of all subjects across the curriculum. The AAM fully supports the Back for the Future campaign.’

Professor Gavin Henderson, Principal, Central School of Speech and Drama

'We believe that there is a danger that the Ebaac could be perceived to marginalise the Creative Arts, and since it will form the basis of league tables that this perception may lead to their being dropped from the curriculum. Innovation requires ideas and originality. Removing creative subjects from the core curriculum risks diminishing these national assets.'

Wozzy Brewster OBE, Founder and Chief Executive, The Midi Music Company

‘It is so incredible that Nicky Morgan and her team have such short-sightedness in relation to the damage that they are doing to the third largest global industry, our precious creative industries. Or maybe they are fully aware that they want to marginalise the most disadvantaged youth by not giving them the option of choice, which is so easily provided within private education for those who can pay.

‘If a young person is studying seven compulsory subjects that do not include the arts, or for that matter sports, how do we really expect true diversity when for some these subjects will consume the majority of their time, but may not inspire them to fulfil their aspirations, particularly if they lean towards the more creative and entrepreneurial pursuits.

‘It is always telling when ethnic stories [Evelyn Jenkins Gunn quote] are used to paraphrase what this government wants, as if because someone shares the same colour that that should affect the discussion on equality and diversity.

‘The arts are essential to any com­plete national life. The State owes it to itself to sus­tain and encourage them … Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.’

Matt Griffiths, CEO, National Foundation for Youth Music

‘It’s so important that music is not downgraded either symbolically or in actuality within the school curriculum. Aside from the positive impact music-making has on students’ learning of other core subjects, music can also itself be a vocational subject preparing young people for a future career across a whole range of options in the music business from composition and performance through to production and music journalism. We know that music and the creative arts make a huge contribution to the economy. To downgrade music and other creative subjects in the context of the EBacc is shooting ourselves in the foot in terms of the future of our creative industries, our economy and the future of our young people.’

Paul Martin, Director, Mundo Music Gear

‘The yearly contribution to the UK economy from the arts & creative industries is around £76 billion. A free thinking, innovative and productive lot for sure, often gobby, reactive and not given to being told what to do, but is there wisdom in marginalising these folk virtually at birth, and cutting their lines of development through misplaced, short sighted and foolish educational thinking. Of course not, we need do the opposite, if we are to face the enormous challenges of the future with real hope.’

Saffron van Zwanenberg, Artistic Director, Jackdaws Music Education Trust

‘As an organisation that delivers extra-curricular music education to 1000's of children and young people every year we are well placed to know the value of music education and fully support this campaign’.

Jackie Alway, Chair, Music Publishers Association

‘Music not only contributes a great deal to the UK economy, it’s a significant part of our history and identity. Along with other creative subjects it is known to improve memory and help build skills that apply to Maths, Languages and other subjects. It should be encouraged and nurtured, empowering the next generation to create and inspire in turn.’

Sara Matthews, Director, Central School of Ballet

‘We are supporting the Bacc for the Future campaign, and have signed the letter calling for the government to listen to concerns. We oppose the exclusion of creative subjects in the Ebacc, and we are concerned about the impact this would have on young people's learning experience and the future of the arts in the UK.’

Professor David Roberts, Executive Dean, Faculty of the Arts, Design & Media, Birmingham City University

‘Birmingham City University is concerned that government plans to entrench a narrowly defined English Baccalaureate in schools risks seriously undermining the scope for pupils to be educated in creative subjects such as art & design, design & technology, drama and music.

‘We recognise and support the government’s aim of ensuring more young people have a strong grounding in core subjects, including maths, science and English, but this need not be at the expense of subjects that form part of a creative economy worth more than £71.4 billion per year to the UK.

‘The EBacc has real merit but by narrowly and strictly defining as many as 7-10 subjects it needs to encompass, the government is leaving too little scope for additional, creative areas of study. For many young people the ability to complement core subjects with, for example, music or art, helps encourage their engagement in education, both as school pupils and as potential applicants to higher education where a far broader range of specialisms await.

‘Creative skills drive real economic output. That’s why no government can afford to ignore the need for schools to effectively deliver a combination of core skills – including literacy and numeracy – with ensuring children and young people are given early opportunities to study and enjoy creative subjects.

‘Making space in the curriculum for creative subjects isn’t a frivolous, luxury educational extra but is actually core to enabling the development of skills that will underpin the sustainability of the UK economy over the next generation.’

John Simpson, CEO, RSL (Rockschool LTD)

‘The UK is the world leader in music and creative arts and it is a very valuable, ever growing part of our economy and our exports. To maintain this position, it is vital that music and the creative arts are an intrinsic part of all children’s education. For this reason we oppose the EBacc and ask policy makers to focus on providing children with a fully rounded education which includes not only Maths, English and sciences, but also music and the creative arts.’

Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and Visitor Experience at Turner Contemporary

‘Young people must be supported to be creative in every aspect of their lives. Creativity, and working with creative people, has enabled Turner Contemporary to lead the transformation of Margate. The Creative Industries are invaluable to the UK, and to sustain this success schools must value the arts, and offer young people high quality arts education which is valued and at the core of their learning, whatever their future careers might be.’

[1]Consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate, Department for Education, 3 November 2015

[2]Joint Council for Qualifications

[3]GCSE Stats: What’s the real picture for the arts in schools?

[4]Arts GCSE entries 2010 to 2015

[5]Statistical release: EBacc and non-EBacc subject entries and achievement: 2011 to 2015

[6]Our response to the DfE consultation paper on the EBacc - updated to include 2015 figures, Edge Foundation

[7]Review of vocational education: the Wolf report

[8]School trip slump plunges children’s theatres into crisis, 24 June 2015

[9]Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth, The Warwick Commission

[10]Statistics: school workforce, Department for Education

[11]Consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate, Department for Education, 3 November 2015

[12]Informed Choices, Russell Group

[13]What A-Level subjects do Russell Group universities prefer?

[14]Acceptable A-level combinations, Trinity College Cambridge, June 2015, LSE’s entry requirements, LSE, June 2015, Preferred A level subjects, UCL, June 2015, Courses listing, Oxford University, June 2015, Courses, University of Cambridge, June 2015

[15]Schools being forced into adopting EBaccs, Professor Roger Marsh, University of York, 19 January 2016

[16] The following are named supporters of Bacc for the Future: Ukadia, University of the Arts London, Standing Conference of University Drama Departments, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA)

[17]Urgent action needed to meet creative industries’ skills demand – CBI

[18] Gutierrez, O.M, Vignoles, A., and De Coulon, A., (2007) The Value of Basic Skills in the British Labour Market. Centre for the Economics of Education, DP 77, consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate, Department for Education, 3 November 2015

[19]National Curriculum in England

[20]Uptake of GCSE subjects 2014, Cambridge Assessment, Tim Gill, April 2015

[21]The Framework for the National Curriculum, December 2011

[22]Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 speech, 25 November 2015

[23]Creative Industries Economic Estimates, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 26 January 2016

[24]Conservative Party Manifesto 2015

[25]Music Education in England - A Review by Darren Henley