The Guardian reports. Come through the main doors at Gateacre school in Liverpool, into an atrium with furniture in bright colours; on your right there’s a drama studio. On the door someone has put up a notice: “More than 9,994 students studying at Russell Group universities since 2012 have an A-level in drama and theatre.”
Jason Roberts, headteacher at Gateacre says the new, more narrowly academic curriculum doesn’t make sense for his pupils: there’s a Jaguar Land Rover plant four miles away looking for apprentices; the Liverpool waterfront development offers lots of work in bars, restaurants and shops; and Salford’s MediaCityUK is 25 minutes away by car.
Other schools point squarely to funding as the driver. At Kingsbridge community college in Devon, for example, 70% of pupils take the Ebacc subjects at GCSE and Spanish has been reintroduced – an upturn in language learning has been a plus side to the Ebacc.
But funding concerns have forced Kingsbridge to drop A-levels in Spanish, media studies, PE and music, along with a GCSE in textiles. The school is considering whether to lose other subjects such as engineering and construction from its options for 14- to 16-year-olds.
The Bacc for the Future Campaign, an alliance of arts and technical organisations that opposes the measure. Henry Vann, coordinator of the campaign and head of external affairs at the Incoporated Society of Musicians, says the Ebacc and school budget restraints are putting pressure on arts and technical subjects.
“There’s absolutely no evidence that the Ebacc range of subjects opens up more opportunities for higher education or future employment,” he says. “Schools are having to make difficult decisions and the DfE has put undue weight on what’s actually quite a restrictive range of GCSEs.”
How many subjects has your school lost? Are parents angry? Do you think the pupils will suffer as a consequence of this? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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