Writers’ Guild and MU join fight against Ebacc proposal

Industry bodies the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Musicians’ Union are the latest groups to oppose the government’s proposal to introduce an English Baccalaureate qualification that does not include arts subjects.

In a statement released this week, the guild said it had “deep concern[s]” about the “exclusion of the arts as qualifying subjects in current proposals for the English Baccalaureate”.

Although the WGGB said it recognised the importance of subjects such as English, maths and science, it also wants “core recognition” of cultural and artistic subjects.

The statement says: “We urge this government to ensure that provision for an arts option is safeguarded for the future enrichment of the nation.”

Warning of the impact that the qualifications could have on timetabling creative subjects, the guild said: “There is a danger that, when faced with a prescriptive shortlist of subjects and the imperative to demonstrate league-table success, schools may withdraw resources from study that does not equate to credits for the English Baccalaureate.”

Meanwhile, the MU has also said that the proposed Ebacc qualification would remove the incentive for schools to teach arts subjects.

It has specifically called for the “continuation of music as a statutory core subject to the end of Key Stage 3 and the opportunity to continue this at Key Stage 4 for those who want to pursue the subject at this level”.

The trade body said that its main concern is that all children have access to “high quality, practical musical opportunities….delivered by a motivated and resourced workforce which helps deliver the next generation of musicians”.

A campaign to urge the government to include creative subjects in the Ebacc is being led by the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Bacc for the Future has signatures from more than 28,000 individuals and 70 major organisations so far, according to the ISM.

The Department for Education consultation on proposals for the Ebacc closes on December 10.

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster