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More voices join criticism of English Baccalaureate

7 January 2013, Rhian Morgan

The Musicians’ Union (MU) and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain are the latest groups to oppose government proposals to introduce an English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification which does not include arts subjects.

The MU believes the Ebacc, which is set to replace GCSEs from 2017, would remove the incentive for schools to teach arts subjects. It has specifically called for the 'continuation of music as a statutory core subject to the end of Key Stage 3 and the opportunity to continue this at Key Stage 4 for those who want to pursue the subject at this level'. Its main concern is that all children have access to 'high quality, practical musical opportunities ... delivered by a motivated and resourced workforce which helps deliver the next generation of musicians'.

The Writers' Guild, meanwhile, says it has 'deep concerns about the exclusion of the arts as qualifying subjects in current proposals for the English Baccalaureate'. While it recognises the importance of subjects such as English, maths and science, it also wants 'core recognition' of cultural and artistic subjects, urging the government to ensure that provision for an arts option is safeguarded for the future enrichment of the nation.

Bacc for the Future, the campaign to include creative subjects in the Ebacc, is being led by the Incorporated Society of Musicians. More than 40,000 people have signed the campaign's petition. The Department for Education consultation on the EBacc closed in December, but the petition can still be signed at www.baccforthefuture.com.

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