Commenting on the EPI report on 'Entries to Art Subjects at Key Stage 4', Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “This report shows clearly how entries to arts subjects by Key Stage 4 have declined in recent years, with the 2016 entry rates the lowest of the decade.The arts are under-valued and under threat, both from the accountability system and funding cuts.
"School leaders strive to do the right thing in the interests of the pupils in their schools, which means providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The EBacc offers too narrow a vision of academic excellence and disregards the importance of creative subjects that many employers value highly. The Ebacc is not suitable for all, and the obsession with it will mean that children who would benefit from an arts or technical education will miss out. School leaders know the value of the arts subjects – every day they see first-hand the difference it can make to children. School leaders must be enabled to offer the rich and varied curriculum children and young people need. This also means the government must address the £2 billion a year shortfall in school funding, which we know is contributing to a narrowing of the curriculum in many schools.”
James Bowen, director of middle leaders’ union NAHT Edge, says “The EBacc is an unhelpful restriction on school autonomy and another attempt to drive behaviour through exam reforms and league tables. Although it is not without its own issues, Progress 8 enables more opportunity for school leaders to provide a curriculum which suits all of their students.”
First published 21 September 2017