Today, a letter signed by 100 organisations and individuals representing a broad range of interests, from The National Portrait Gallery to the National Governors Association and including a-n’s Head of Programmes and Editor Gillian Nicol, has been handed into Downing Street.

The letter, addressed to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, is part of a campaign calling for an extended consultation period for the new English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBacc), in order to address the absence of creative and vocational subjects in the proposed new qualification for 16-year-olds.

The letter was handed in by Deborah Annetts, CEO, Incorporated Society Of Musicians and co-ordinator of Bacc for the Future Campaign; Joe McCleod, #includeDesign Campaign; Marilyn Harrop, President, The National Union of Teachers; and Kathryn James, Director of Policy, National Association of Head Teachers.

The letter, including the full list of signatories, is reproduced below:

Dear Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister,

We wish to express our concerns about the review of secondary school examinations being undertaken by the Secretary of State for Education.

As you will know, many influential figures from the world of the arts, design, sport and industry have expressed their concerns about the limited remit of the English Baccalaureate.

Whilst not being opposed to the reform of the system of examinations, nor to the drive to raise standards, we are concerned that the current consultation on the introduction of English Baccalaureate Certificates is too limited and that decisions are being made too quickly.

We need an examination system which ensures pupils receive a rigorous, broad and balanced curriculum. We do not believe the current proposals for EBCs will do that. By failing to give parity to high quality creative and vocational subjects, as well as sport, these reforms will jeopardise our children’s education and undermine the economic and cultural health of our nation.

We are therefore calling for the consultation period to be extended in both time and content to ensure any concerns are addressed before steps are taken to implement EBCs. This extended consultation should fully engage with the views of parents, students, governors, businesses, teachers, head teachers and other concerned stakeholders before any changes are made.

A small group of the signatories to this letter would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to further explain our concerns and discuss ways in which the Government could initiate a national conversation about examination reform.

Yours sincerely,

Russell Hobby, General Secretary, NAHT

Christine Blower, General Secretary, NUT

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive, Incorporated Society of Musicians

Joe Macleod, IncludeDesign

Ruth Mackenzie CBE

Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery

Neil Constable, Chief Executive, Shakespeare’s Globe

Jo Dipple, CEO, UK Music

Nicholas Hytner, Artistic Director, National Theatre

Lord Puttnam, Chair of the Cultural Learning Alliance

Anthony Sargent, General Director, The Sage Gateshead

David Pickard, General Director, Glyndebourne

Gillian Moore, Head of Classical Music, Southbank Centre

Nadia Stern, Chief Executive, Rambert Dance Company

Clive Grinyer, Director, Cisco IBSG

Dick Powell, CEO and Founder of Seymourpowell, Chairman of D&AD

Ben Reason, Founding Director, Livework

Oliver King, Co-founder, Engine

Simon Gill, Executive Creative Director, LBI

John Sinclair & Matt Miller, Founders, Ustwo Studio Limited

John Mathers, CEO, Design Council

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Craft Council

Nigel Carrington, Vice Chancellor, University of the Arts London

Professor Anthony Dunne, Head of Design Interactions, Royal College of Art

Graham Brown-Martin, Founder, Learning Without Frontiers

Michael Smith, Director, Cog Design

Andrew Chowns, CEO, Directors UK

Professor Gavin Henderson CBE, Principal, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Sue Robertson, Principal, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Mark Featherstone-Witty, CEO, The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts

Sara Matthews, Director, Central School of Ballet

Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT

Mary Bousted, General Secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Sally Hunt, General Secretary, UCU

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust

Jan Hodges, CEO, The Edge Foundation

Dr John Steers, Chair of Trustees, Council for Subject Associations

Annette Smith, Chief Executive, Association for Science Education

Lesley Butterworth, General Secretary, National Society for Education in Art and Design

Richard Green, Chief Executive, Design and Technology Association

Jay Osgerby, BarberOsgerby

Deyan Sudjic Director, Design Museum, London
Angus Montgomery, editor, Design Week

Gerry Leonidas, Senior Lecturer in Typography, University of Reading

Patrice Baldwin, Chair, National Drama

Dr Simon Gibbons, Chair, National Association for the Teaching of English

Pete Fraser, Chair, Media Education Association

Emma Knights, Chief Executive, National Governors’ Association

Dr Hilary Emery, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC

Jon Richards, National Secretary Education and Children’s Services, Unison

Toni Pearce, Vice President (Further Education), NUS

Jon Teckman, Student Voice/Phoenix Education Trust

Emma Hunt, Chair, Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD)

John Thompson, Chair, Leacan 14+

Nigel Utton, Chair, Heading for Inclusion

Dr John Dunford, Chair, Whole Education

Dave Boston, Chief Executive, The Schools Cooperative Society

Flora Richards, Chair, Jewish Teachers Association

Peter Nutkins, Headmaster, Humphrey Perkins School (Heads for the Arts)

Peggy Farrington, Headteacher, Hanham High School (Heads for the Arts)

Mary Boyle, Principal, Knole Academy (Heads for the Arts)

Catherine McCormack, Headteacher, South Wirral High School, (Heads for the Arts)

Elaine Buchanan, Associate Headteacher, Hillview School for Girls (Heads for the Arts)

Emma Thomas, Head of Learning and Engagement, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Samantha Lane, Co-Director of Almeida Projects, Almeida Theatre

Simon Thomsett, Chief Executive, Fairfield Halls

Donna Lynas, Director, Wysing Arts Centre

Paul Hoskins, Music Director, Rambert Dance Company

Caroline Miller, Director, Dance UK

Linda Jasper, Director, Youth Dance England

Judy Evans & Sue Trotman, Joint Chairs, National Dance Teachers Association

Ian Smallbone and Kathryn Enticott, Managing Directors, IMG Artists

Stephen Lumsden, Managing Director, Intermusica

Julian Bird, Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre & Theatrical Management Association

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI

Mark Pemberton, Chief Executive, Association of British Orchestras

Terry Luddington, CEO, British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech

Trevor Horsewood, Coordinator, The Visual Arts and Galleries Association

Tamizan Savill, Development Manager, The Association for Contemporary Jewellery

Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive, Design and Artists Copyright Society

Janie Orr, Chief Executive, EMI Music Sound Foundation

Henry Little, CEO, Orchestras Live.

Rosemary Johnson, Executive Director, Royal Philharmonic Society

Mike Hally, Vice Chair, Radio Independents Group

Sarah Gee, Indigo-Ltd, Managing Partner

Russell Martin, Programme Manager, Artquest

Jonty Tarbuck, Deputy Director, Locus+

Dominic Mcgonigal, Chairman, C8 Associates

Zoë Jackson, Founder and Managing Director, Living the Dream

Gillian Nicol, Head of Programmes and Editor, a-n The Artists Information Company

Christine Payne, Equity, General Secretary

John Smith, General Secretary, Musicians’ Union

Paul McManus, Chief Executive, Music Industries Association

Rachel Greaves, General Secretary, Association of British Choral Directors

Scott Price, President, Music Masters and Mistresses Association

Fiona Pendreigh, Chair, National Association of Music Educators

Dr Douglas Coombes MBE, Composer and Conductor, School Music Association

Murray McLachlan, Chair, European Piano Teachers Association UK

Chris Taylor, Director, New Writing South

Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass

John Pout Head Teacher, Rainhill High School

Jay Deeble, Chair, School Music Association