Music and drama ‘could become preserve of elite’

The Mail is reporting school leaders have warned music and drama could become the “preserve of the elite” as a result of a drive for teenagers to take traditional academic subjects at GCSE level.

Under Government proposals, most pupils in England could be required to take subjects included in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in the future.

But the move could mean that creative subjects are squeezed out of the curriculum, according to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which said it would be a tragedy if schools were forced to axe these courses…

The union said it had calculated that the EBacc, plus other curriculum requirements, would leave just 20% of a student’s time for creative and technology courses, which could restrict the number of options they are able to take.

There are concerns that this will lead to a decline in student numbers for these GCSEs, and make some unsustainable, ASCL said.

Music and drama are particularly at risk because uptake for these courses is already lower than for many others, it added.

Macolm Trobe, ASCL’s interim general secretary said: “It would be a tragedy if an unintended consequence of EBacc is that it becomes impossible for schools to run music and drama courses.

“The danger is that these subjects will then end up becoming the preserve of the elite, accessible only to those who can afford private tuition.

“We agree with the Government that learning core academic subjects is crucial to the future of young people. We think that the EBacc needs to be more flexible to leave room for creative and technology subjects.

“These subjects are important for young people and for the economy. Creative industries alone are worth nearly £80 billion a year to the UK and account for 1.7 million jobs.”…

More at Music and drama ‘could become preserve of elite’


Read more directly from the ASCL at: Music and drama could become ‘preserve of the elite’


Read or download the ASCL consultation response in full:

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Valid concerns from the ASCL on the possible future of music and drama in schools?

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. The_Data_Adonis

    SchoolsImprove for funding reasons drama and music among others could move from A Levels to vocational qualifications as core aims,

  2. Mirror_Assembly

    There is a HUGE danger that
    real talent will go undeveloped if music, art, sports and drama are not truly promoted
    and nurtured in Primary years, the benefits to the brain from learning a
    musical instrument for 3-5 years (as in recent research) will not show benefits toall subjects. If early talent were to be recognised
    and nurtured, then by Ebacc time pupils will know what talents they have
    and whether or not they want to continue to develop them.

  3. drleatongray

    schooltruth We can barely fund and staff class music at the Federation where I am governor. I am tearing my hair out.

  4. Perhaps this is why Cameron is considering a well-appointed private school for his son – he knows his policies will result in state schools being unable to provide a well-rounded education which recognises that creative subjects are as important as academic ones.

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Ah, the good old “one size fits all” Ebacc. Really making a positive contribution to education in general. Politics at work

  6. lyndseyevans

    SchoolsImprove When I came into teaching 8 years ago, it was all about Music Manifesto, Sing Up, music for all. How times have changed.

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