The Times publish Bacc for the future letter on the EBacc
Happy New Year!
To start 2016 with some good news
On Wednesday 6 January The Times published our collective letter about the EBacc. (See below to read the full letter)
They have also published an article about the letter in the main paper (including in the print edition).
We are deeply concerned by the Department for Education’s proposals to make the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) all but compulsory in schools as a headline accountability measure.
The EBacc proposal means that every pupil taking their GCSEs would have to study a minimum of seven, narrowly defined, GCSEs: English literature and English language, maths, double or triple science, a modern and/or ancient language, history and/or geography.
The intention is for the EBacc effectively to become compulsory, with the Education Secretary expecting ‘to see at least 90% of students entering the EBacc.
The average number of GCSEs taken by pupils in England is 8. If these plans become a reality, there would be little room left for pupils to study creative industry relevant subjects and the arts would be squeezed out of schools altogether.
Already, from 2010 to 2015 we have seen a 14% drop in creative and technical qualifications being taken.
The UK’s creative industries are world-leading in their own right, contribute more than £76 billion to the UK economy and employ more than 1.7 million (more than 1 in 20 UK jobs).
To continue to build a thriving creative economy, the arts must be given equal visibility in our schools. It makes no sense for the Government to implement an educational strategy which is narrowing a skills base in an area so integral to our economy’s success.
We agree wholeheartedly with George Osborne: “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.’
Why risk this with a narrow, one-size fits all curriculum that will force creative and technical subjects out of schools?
The Bacc for the Future campaign, including:
Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive, Incorporated Society of Musicians
Neil Constable, Chief Executive, Shakespeare’s Globe
Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, Birmingham Conservatoire
Nadia Stern, Chief Executive, Rambert
Mary Bousted, General Secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)
Christine Blower, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers (NUT)
Andrew Chowns, CEO, Directors UK
Paul McManus, Chief Executive, Music Industries Association
Victoria Pomery OBE, Director, Turner Contemporary
Julian Bird, Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre Association
Sarah Munro, Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Christine Payne, General Secretary, Equity
Jeanie Scott, Executive Director, a-n The Artists Information Company (Paying Artists campaign)
David Harbourne, Acting Chief Executive, The Edge Foundation
Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive, DACS
Professor Gavin Henderson CBE, Principal, The Royal Central School Of Speech and Drama, University of London
Sir Mark Featherstone-Witty OBE, Founding Principal/CEO of The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Professor John Butler, Head of Birmingham School of Art, BCU
Professor John Last, Vice-Chancellor, Norwich University of the Arts and Chair, ukadia
Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice-Chancellor, University for the Creative Arts
Professor Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton
Sam West, Chair, National Campaign for the Arts
Simon Wallis OBE, Director, The Hepworth Wakefield
Susan Whiddington, Director, Mousetrap Theatre Projects
Anne Rawcliffe-King, Director, Royal British Society of Sculptors
Fin Kennedy, Artistic Director, Tamasha Theatre Company
Katy Spicer, Chief Executive, English Folk Dance and Song Society
Lesley Butterworth, General Secretary, NSEAD
Paul Smith, Executive Director, Liverpool Biennial
Richard Green, Chief Executive, Design and Technology Association
Simon Thomsett, Chief Executive, Fairfield Halls
Terry Luddington, Chief Executive Officer, The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech
Adrian Friedli, Freelance Consultant, Former Programme Lead Hull 2017
Andrew Nairne, Director, Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge
Anthony Spira, Director, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
Barbara Eifler, Executive Director, Making Music
Benjamin Dunks, Artistic Director, Attik Dance
Chris Romer-Lee, Co-founder of Studio Octopi & Thames Baths CIC
Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive, HOME (Greater Manchester Arts Centre)
David Wood OBE, Chair, Action for Children’s Arts
Dominic McGonigal, Chairman, C8 Associates
Donna Lynas, Director of Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge
Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, mac birmingham
Dr Elizabeth Stafford, Director, Music Education Solutions Ltd
Ed Scolding, Director, Greenwich Music School
Geoffrey Harniess, Head of the Centre for Young Musicians
Helen Legg, Director of Spike Island, Bristol
James Grieve and George Perrin, Artistic Directors, Paines Plough
Jonathan Lloyd-Platt, Chair, Heritage Crafts Association.
Karen Dickinson FISM, Director, Music for Little People Ltd
Kate Brindley, CEO, Arnolfini
Kwong Lee, Director of Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Rachel Greaves, General Secretary, Association of British Choral Directors
Peter Broadbent, Director of Training, Association of British Choral Directors
Lindsay Taylor, Arts Curator, University of Salford
Liz Hill, Editor, ArtsProfessional
Lucy Phillips, Director of Leicester Print Workshop
Margot Heller, Director, South London Gallery
Marisa Draper, Head of Engagement, HOME (Greater Manchester Arts Centre)
Michael Smith, Director, Cog Design
Nigel Burrows, Yamaha Music Schools Education Manager (UK)
Paul Hobson, Director Modern Art Oxford
Paul Hoskins, Conductor and Music Director, Rambert
Phillip Flood, Chief Executive, Sound Connections
Polly Staple, Director, Chisenhale Gallery
Rachel Tackley, Director, English Touring Theatre and President, UK Theatre
Richard Smith, Curator, Lancaster Institute for the Creative Arts
Rob Smith, Head of Education & Learning, Bow Arts Trust
Rosemary Johnson, Executive Director, Royal Philharmonic Society
Vicky Prior, Director, League of Culture
Kat Bridge, Artistic Director, Greenwich Dance
Penelope Price Jones, Chairman, Association of Teachers of Singing (AOTOS)
Susie Crow, Chair of Trustees, The Exuberant Trust
Sarah Gee, co-founder and Managing Partner, Indigo Ltd