Arts leaders slam DfE's E-Bacc decision

Arts leader slams DfE's E-Bacc decision

Arts leaders have condemned the government’s decision to go ahead with the English Baccalaureate as “short-sighted” and “ridiculous”.

Last week, the Department for Education responded to the consultation on the EBacc and confirmed that a compulsory creative subject will not be added to the curriculum.

In its consultation response, the DfE said it had considered suggestions to include additional subjects within the EBacc but decided: "This could reduce pupil choice at GCSE to the point where no other subjects can be studied."

"The EBacc, while comprehensive, still enables pupils to continue to study additional subjects that reflect their individual interests and strengths, including the arts subjects."

It has also now confirmed that it will scrap the target of entering 90% of students for the EBacc by 2020, delaying this by five years.

Head of UK Theatre Cassie Chadderton said the body was “concerned that sidelining the arts from the curriculum will compromise the skills and talent pipeline to our industry”, as well as creating knock-on effects detrimental to the success of the creative industries more broadly.

“A strong arts and cultural education, for young people from all social, cultural and economic backgrounds, is essential if we are to encourage and inspire the next generation of theatre workers,” she said.

A statement from Arts Council England added that it would “continue to work with government and other partners to ensure the EBacc does not reduce cultural subject selection or the opportunity to access arts subjects in schools”.

“Looking forward, the Arts Council’s two major policy initiatives, the 25-year Creative Talent Plan and the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, will be exploring the importance of culture in young people’s lives, and make proposals to government on unlocking creativity in children through education.”

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