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Eleanor Philpot

A Level and GCSE Drama face significant dip in student numbers

2:35, 29th August 2019

According to figures released by exam regulars, Ofqual and the Bacc for the Future campaign, there has been a significant decrease in the number of students studying both GCSE and A Level drama.

With the arrival of the A Level results came some worrying statistics. Drama was shown to have less than 10,000 students studying the subject, with 40% fewer entries recorded this year than a decade ago. There was also a big decrease in the past year alone with only 9,265 candidates being entered for Drama compared to 10,160 in 2018.

Bad news also loomed on the day of GCSE results with campaigners, Bacc for the Future denying the government’s claim that all arts subjects were enjoying a significant increase in numbers. The charity highlighted how the 9.5% increase only applies to Art and Design, with Drama numbers decreasing by 0.5% and Performing Arts by 7.7%. In turn, they demonstrated a 28.1% decline across all arts subjects at GCSE level.

Deborah Annetts, founder of the Bacc for the Future campaign says, ‘We are delighted that the uptake of art and design has enjoyed a 9.5% increase in uptake this year. However, when looking at the wider context, this spike is not enough to correct several years of long-term decline in…We are also concerned that the uptake of other creative subjects are continuing to decline, including music  drama (-0.5%), design & technology media, film and TV studies and performing arts…While the Schools Minister is right when saying there has been an increase in the uptake of ‘arts’, this has only been within the art and design specifications. We therefore would urge the government to look at creative subjects as separate entities.’

For more information visit: https://www.baccforthefuture.com/

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