Ebacc update – more concerning data about the erosion of music and the creative subjects in our schools

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We continue to support the campaign to stop the English Baccalaureate being imposed on our schools and thought you should see this alarming article recently published in Music Teacher magazine:

School leaders say EBacc is harming creative subjects

A majority of secondary school leaders believe the EBacc has had a negative effect on school curriculums, and two-thirds believe provision in arts and creative subjects has suffered in their school as a result of changes to the curriculum and performance measures.

These are the findings of the latest annual survey by school leadership organisation The Key, presenting the views of 1,182 school leaders and 1,257 governors of mainstream schools in England.

58% of secondary respondents said the EBacc had a negative impact on their curriculum, with only 9% saying it had a positive impact. By contrast, statistics were more balanced on the impact of Progress 8 and Attainment 8, with 37% reporting a negative impact and 31% reporting a positive one.

Four out of five secondary school leaders said that the EBacc measure was actively limiting opportunities for pupils with vocational or technical aptitude who may not thrive in a purely academic environment.

More widely, more than three-quarters (77%) of school leaders reported that they do not have confidence in the current national assessment system.

The Conservatives’ manifesto, launched last week, reaffirms the party’s commitment to the EBacc, stating that 75% of pupils should be entered for the EBacc combination of subjects by the end of the next parliament (summer 2022), and 90% by 2025.

In response, the Bacc for the Future campaign said: ‘The Conservative Party must urgently drop its plans to press ahead with an unreformed EBacc. The Department for Education’s own figures – backed up by a wealth of research – have shown that by excluding creative, artistic and technical subjects from schools league tables, the latest EBacc policy (which was announced in 2015) is directly harming the uptake of these subjects and the opportunities of pupils in secondary schools. With the creative industries one of our fastest growing sectors, and likely to play an even more important role in a post-Brexit world, we urge the Government to listen to the 2016 consultation – the response to which has not been published yet – and drop plans for a backward looking EBacc.’

The Key’s survey follows similar findings from a joint Association of Teachers and Lecturers and National Union of Teachers survey and research by academics at the University of Sussex, both of which were released earlier this year.

For all information on the campaign (please sign the petition and write to your local MP): www.baccforthefuture.com