GCSEs: Further decline in uptake of arts subjects

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GCSE results were released yesterday. The figures for 2016/17 show an 8.4% drop in the uptake of creative, artistic and technical subjects from the previous year, which itself saw an 7% drop from the year before.

Subjects that faced the most severe decline in uptake were Performing/Expressive Arts (-17%), Media/Film/TV Studies (-12%), Design and Technology (-11%) and Music (7.7%).

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and founder of the Bacc for the Future campaign of over 200 creative, business and industry organisations and over 100,000 individual supporters said:

‘The Government’s own figures continue to show the devastating impact the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is having on the uptake of creative, artistic and technical subjects in our secondary schools.

These new figures highlight a concerning year-on-year trend that shows a fall in the uptake of these subjects. The creative industries are vital to our economy, they contribute a staggering £90 billion a year to the UK and they rely upon the skills pipeline formed in our schools. With the Department for Education determined to continue with the deeply damaging EBacc (despite concerns from industry and Higher Education) then this decline in uptake is unfortunately likely to continue.

We urge the Department for Education to take into account the overwhelming evidence, the voices of industry and Higher Education institutions and reverse their misconceived EBacc policy.’

Further information about the Bacc for the Future campaign can be found here.