We’ve been thinking a lot about the potential impact of the Ebacc on cultural education lately, with the government’s consultation on the Ebacc closing last Friday. We’d like to offer a response to the proposals which is less about the assessment measure itself, and more about what could be done to make sure that it does not result in fewer young people being able to enjoy the arts, especially those from more deprived backgrounds.
No one wants this initiative
to mean a diminution in the breadth and quality of cultural education, so what
can we do to acknowledge some of the challenges and think about how - as a set
of professionals in the arts and in education - we might work to achieve the
best outcomes for our students?
- There is
widespread agreement that all pupils should experience a broad and balanced
curriculum which includes high quality cultural education. The expansion of the
Ebacc may create conditions which are harmful to this goal and therefore we
need to show leadership from all quarters to support schools in maintaining high standards of cultural education, and illustrate innovative ways in which
schools can combine high levels of Ebacc entry with high quality arts and
- It is vital
that all students have the chance to
study an arts subject in depth at GCSE - we might need to be more innovative in
the way that we meet this obligation in localities.
- It is
particularly important that students from lower income families, who may have
more barriers to engagement with the arts outside of curriculum time, are
supported to develop their interests and talents. Schools should be encouraged
to have strategies for supporting these pupils in particular.
needs to be given to the measures in place to assess which schools are able to
offer a high quality cultural education.
If you would like to read more please read our full reponse and let us know what you think.
Our Chair, Professor Maggie Atkinson, has also responded in a piece for the TES - you can read this here