The Ebacc requires pupils to study a minimum of seven GCSEs, but the options do not include any arts subjects. A petition calling for creative subjects to be included in Ebacc attracted more than 100,000 signatures and the issue was debated in parliament this week.
In a press statement, John Kampfner, the chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “The Ebacc debate is a moment to focus on a key issue for the UK economy - whether we are giving generations of schoolchildren an education that prepares them for fulfilling lives and careers and whether we are building the skilled workforce of the future.
“A narrow, traditional curriculum not only does a disservice to many students but can only exacerbate existing skills shortages in jobs such as animation and special effects - jobs that young people would want to do. Other industries, such as engineering, that require a similar mix of creative and technical skills, are also affected.”
The government said that Ebacc forms only part of the school curriculum, highlighting that there had been a rise in the numbers of students taking GCSEs in arts subjects. It also said that design and music are compulsory subjects within the national curriculum for five- to 14-year-olds. Pupils also have to study drama, as part of the English curriculum, and dance, as part of the PE curriculum.
“At key stage 4, the government does not believe it is right that every student should have to study an arts subject, but all pupils in maintained schools have a statutory entitlement to be able to study an arts subject if they wish (comprising art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts) as well as design and technology,” said a statement from the Department of Education.
Has the lack of creative subjects in the Ebacc curriculum had an impact on museums' educational programmes? Vote in the poll below and have your say.
Museums Association @MuseumsAssocHas the Ebacc had an impact on museums' educational programmes?
Meanwhile the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has launched a new £1m fund to support arts training for primary school teachers. The fund will enable arts bodies across the UK to work with schools to train teachers in arts-based teaching practices. The scheme aims to address evidence that children from disadvantaged backgrounds miss out on some art forms, resulting in a less rounded and balanced education, and will particularly target teachers in disadvantaged communities.