Parliamentary Debate secured

Published 15th April 2016

A debate has been secured in Parliament to discuss the lack of creative subjects in the government’s new EBacc after a petition was signed by more than 100,000 people.

The House of Commons petition committee will consider whether Richard Wilson’s petition to “include expressive arts subjects in the Ebacc” should be the subject of a parliamentary debate.

The government wants to see all pupils who started year seven last September study the five core EBacc subjects – maths, English, science, a language and history or geography – at GCSE, and schools will be measured on the proportion of pupils who take the subjects, facing potentially harsher grading by Ofsted if insufficient pupil numbers take part.

Wilson said: “The EBacc will have a dreadful impact on the arts in our schools, but the 100,000 signatures is a testament to the how much that arts and culture are loved and valued in the UK. We look forward to the debate that we have managed to secure in parliament.”

Although more creative subjects like music, drama, art and D&T will continue to be offered by schools, critics of the EBacc say pupils could be discouraged from taking them in favour of more academic subjects and have warned that arts subjects could be pushed out of schools and become the “preserve of the elite”.

The Bacc for the Future campaign, a consortium of arts organisations, the Design & Technology Association and other interested parties have all raised concerns that schools will push pupils even further, encouraging them to take extra academic subjects such as additional sciences, multiple languages and in some circumstances both history and geography, crowding arts subjects out.

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