Release date: 31 January 2013
The Cross-Party Education Select Committee, Chaired by respected Conservative MP Graham Stuart, has joined the Include Design and Bacc for the Future campaigns in calling for ‘a red light’ on GCSE reform to avoid serious damage to the education of our children.
The Bacc for the Future and Include Design campaigns are supported by tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations from across the creative industries and education sector. Together they are campaigning for creative subjects to remain at the heart of education, building on the Olympics and Paralympics legacy.
The Education Select Committee stated that the ‘case for the abolition of key GCSEs is still unproven’ and that the Government is ‘trying to do too much, too fast'.
The report also found that ‘there is a lack of overall coherence in the Government’s approach to reform of the curriculum, qualifications and school accountability system’.
Deborah Annetts, Chief of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and coordinator of the Bacc for the Future campaign, responded to the report saying:
‘Few people doubt the need for Key Stage 4 reform, but the Education Select Committee has raised concerns about the pace and nature of the proposed changes to the examination system. These concerns mirror those voiced by the Bacc for the Future campaign and the many education experts who have raised significant doubts about the structure, content and basis of these proposals.
‘We ask the Government to listen carefully to the findings of this respected Committee.
‘We endorse the Select Committee’s doubt over the possibility to ‘upgrade’ some subjects without implicitly ‘downgrading’ others. The unintended consequence of these reforms could be the creation of a divisive two-tier education system. We must have one qualification with subject-appropriate and rigorous modes of assessment.
‘In particular we would draw attention to our industry and higher education colleagues in the Bacc for the Futurecampaign who have joined calls urging the Government to include creative subjects and revise its Key Stage 4 proposals. Given the economic significance of the creative economy this should be a no-brainer; we must not lose the creative legacy of the Olympics and Paralympics.’
The Committee noted the ‘vigorous opposition to the Government’s proposals from prominent figures in the arts community’ adding that ‘concerns have been expressed about the implications for religious studies, sports and technical subjects, such as design and technology.’
Joe Macleod, from the #IncludeDesign campaign said:
‘Design and the creative industries are hugely important to the UK economy and the exclusion of design and other creative subjects from EBacc threatens the pipeline of home grown creative talent that will be needed for their future success. The Education Select Committee’s report forcefully highlights this, showing how the Government’s proposed reforms risk down-grading creative subjects in school and ignoring their essential importance to business innovation. It’s vital the Government now takes a step back and re-considers these reforms to insure they do not cause irreparable damage to children and the economy. Even the CBI has criticised the absence of creative subjects.’
Notes to editors
- For further details or to arrange an interview with Deborah Annetts or IncludeDesign contact Henry Vann on 07791 138 853 (including out of hours queries)
- There are three things called the English Baccalaureate:
1. The EBacc league table is a league table of performance in maths, English, sciences (x2), languages and humanities
2. The Full EBacc certificate is a full certificate awarded to pupils who achieve an A*-C grade in maths, English, sciences (x2), languages and humanities
3. English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) are a new type of qualification which is being introduced first for maths, English, sciences (x2), languages and humanities and then possibly for other subjects.
4. There is now also a fourth measure, provisionally called the ABacc, which is a league table ranking schools by pupil attainment in three A-levels in maths, English, Sciences (x2), languages and humanities.
- The ISM is co-ordinating the Bacc for the Future campaign (www.baccforthefuture.com) of over 100 creative industry and education organisations including the BPI, UK Music, Design Council, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the #IncludeDesign campaign group, the Heads for the Arts campaign group, Shakespeare’s Globe, the NUT and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The campaign has which has amassed nearly 50,000 signatures and a huge amount of public support from high-profile figures. The ISM asks that the Government slow down the pace of reform, include creative subjects such as music, art, drama, dance and design in the EBacc. There must be one qualification with subject-appropriate and rigorous modes of assessment.
- ABOUT THE ISM - The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK’s professional association for musicians providing a distinctive range of services to its membership of performers and music professionals. The Incorporated Society of Musicians aims to promote the art of music and champion the interests of musicians, raising professional standards, and providing legal advice and other benefits to its members. Its members include performers, composers, music teachers and industry professionals. The ISM has over 100 corporate members including all the music Conservatoires, university music departments, ABRSM, Trinity College London, Association of British Orchestras, Federation of Music Services, Jazz Services, Music for Youth, Oxford University Press, specialist music schools including Chetham’s School of Music and the Yehudi Menuhin School, as well as music industry and trade organisations such as PPL, the Music Industries Association, Yamaha Music, and the International Artist Managers’ Association.
- The ‘Include Design’ campaign is a web based campaign (#includedesign; http://includedesign.org/)
- 'Include Design’ is part of the Bacc for the future campaign (http://www.baccforthefuture.com/), and encourages participants to sign the online petition