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).


Dear Editor,

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?

Yours sincerely,

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