a-n and AIR’s Paying Artists campaign has announced its support for Bacc for the Future, the relaunched campaign that aims to keep creativity at the heart of education in schools.

Bacc for the Future was initiated by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) in 2012, following proposals by the then secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, for a new examination system for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Gove’s plan focused around five academic subject areas, with art, music, design and technology, and drama all absent from the consultation document for the proposed English Baccalaureate (EBacc) certificate.

The ISM campaign called on the Government to slow down the pace of reform, resulting in a partial u-turn and the announcement in 2013 of a ‘new eight-subject measure of GCSEs, including English and maths, three science subjects, languages, history and geography and three other subjects, such as art, music or religious education’. The EBacc certificate was dropped in favour of reformed GCSEs.

However, new EBacc proposals announced by current education secretary Nicky Morgan in June this year have detailed plans to introduce a compulsory list of subjects at GCSE level that would require every pupil to study English, maths, a science, a humanities subject (defined as only history or geography) and a language (ancient and modern). The plans would rank schools on performance in only these subjects, excluding the arts altogether.

Bacc again

Announcing the relaunch of Bacc for the Future, ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said: “The Government should seriously reconsider its new EBacc proposal. This is a rejection of the ‘more balanced and meaningful accountability system’ proposed under the last Government.

“The Government is rightly focused on jobs, growth and a balanced budget. This policy undermines that ambition. The creative industries are worth £76.9bn per year to the UK economy, and the educational importance of creative subjects cannot be over-estimated. It should be a great concern to all of us that the department for education is playing fast and loose with the country’s economic and educational wellbeing.”

The campaign has already gained support from over 40 organisations including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Liverpool Biennial, Contemporary Visual Arts Network and the Design Museum.

Announcing support from Paying Artists, a-n’s director Jeanie Scott said: “The Paying Artists campaign, which aims to secure payment for artists who exhibit in publicly-funded galleries, supports the Bacc for the Future campaign. Both campaigns want to ensure a future for the arts reflecting the broadest spectrum of human experience.

“Creative subjects are critical to a rounded education, inspiring children from all backgrounds to become the producers of tomorrow and apply creative thinking in all that they do. Without this, we limit the potential of our diverse and dynamic society.”

Bacc for the Future campaign www.baccforthefuture.com
Support Paying Artists www.payingartists.org.uk

More on a-n.co.uk:

Gove U-turns on EBC, but where does that leave EBacc?

Crafts Council Director: EBacc still needs sixth ‘arts pillar’

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