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UK’s artistic leaders speak out against arts baccalaureate snub

3:27, 12th November 2012
The RSC’s Gregory Doran speaks out in support of the arts (credit: Ellie Kurttz)

Some of the UK’s leading arts figures have spoken of their concern about the damage that might be caused by leaving arts subjects out of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) curriculum.

The National theatre’s artistic director Sir Nicholas Hytner, Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, RSC artistic director Gregory Doran and playwright Sir David Hare have spoken out publically in defence of arts subjects and the value they have as part of students’ education.

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said: ‘There is evidence of the link between the attainment that students make in arts subjects and their performance elsewhere in the curriculum. Arts subjects should be part of the Ebacc.’

The government outlined plans last month for the current education system to be overhauled using the EBacc as a new educational model. The EBacc sees students study English, maths, two sciences and a choice between history and geography to gain their qualification – with arts subjects such as music, art and drama not counting toward students’ studies.

Sir David Hare described the new plans as ‘the most dangerous and far-reaching of the government’s reforms.’

Since the EBacc was introduced into schools as a performance measure in 2010, the number of students taking arts GCSEs has fallen.

A spokesperson for the department for education said: ‘The EBacc does not prevent any school from offering GCSEs in art and design, dance, drama and music. We have been clear that students should take the GCSEs that are right for them.’

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