Danny Boyle wants ‘great and good’ to protest over EBacc arts exclusion

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    Danny Boyle has urged his colleagues in the creative industries to fight for the English baccalaureate to include cultural subjects.

    The director spoke out after he and his creative team received the Beyond Theatre award at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, for their work on the Olympics opening ceremony.

    Addressing the audience, Boyle said: “You are the great and good and you have been lucky some of you, and you are very powerful – some of you know it, some of you don’t know it. If there is any way you can help make culture, music, dance, theatre a core of the new English baccalaureate you will have given something beyond what you give every day.”

    Later in the evening, theatre and film director Stephen Daldry also called for support in the campaign to include creative subjects in the national curriculum.

    After congratulating Boyle for the success of the Olympics opening ceremony, Daldry made an appeal to the audience to “do what they can” to help.

    He said: "We are entering difficult times. As Danny said, we have to fight for the curriculum, it is essential.

    “The most important thing we can do now is talk to our politicians and talk to our business leaders and say this is the country we want to be in and believe in, we don’t want to go backwards, we’ve got to go forwards. Please do what you can.”



    1. My school is trying to scrap the entire expressive arts faculty. We were made in to an Academy in September. Now that we are no longer under LEA control, apparently the Unions have no say over the curriculum. The scary thing is that so very few people understand what is happening or the long term effect the EBAC system will have. It’s the beginning of the end for the creative subjects. This is being pushed through so quickly that it’s going ‘under the radar’. We have been told that there will be ‘serious consequences’ for any of us teachers who try to inform the pupils or parents of what is happening!!! So much for transparency and schools consulting with parents. Ofsted where are you on this?

    2. Plymouth College of Art is opening a 4-16 free school,to address the decline of creative and cultural subjects in the school curriculum. Our school will be a place of making, discovering and performing … and we need you to join the Arts Council and Tate in supporting us. Find us on LinkedIn or on
      Many thanks, Barbara Jones

    3. Arts in school curriculum essential for humanity and civilisation. Please do not regress by cutting from school learning experience – very dangerous.

    4. I am aware that you say schools are free to include creative subjects in the curriculum, but as a career teacher who worked in main stream education for 40 years, 30 as Head of Art and Design in a large city comprehensive school, I know that head-teachers frequently take the line of least resistance when confronted with choices about what to fit in to the school timetable.
      This was a significant factor when the national Curriculum was introduced which created a lot of pressure on the timetable and resulted in many schools greatly reducing the number of hours spent on creative subjects by combining them together and rotating students through them.
      This system has obvious attractions, but creative subjects need continuity for students to make progress. Could you imagine trying to learn a musical instrument in one half term per year? Happily, this did not happen in my school because the Senior Management Team saw the value that the art curriculum added to the school, for both the very able and those students of lower ability.
      My experience in Secondary Education also shows that unless a subject has a properly examined outcome, it lacks the respect of many students and parents when it comes to making choices.
      One of the things that frequently said to me by parents and students about Art and design when deciding on their examination course was, ‘it doesn’t help you get a job’. I would reply that there is hardly any product that is made that does not have the hand of an artist in it somewhere, whether it is in the design, production, promotion or packaging. There must be thousands of people who earn their living using creative skills in the various aspects of industrial production.

    5. As a mum of 2 teenage children both who are very creative I am very concerned about this push for the EBAC. My oldest child managed to drop a language and has been able to take 3 Art subjects in school, Art, Drama and Music and doing well in all of them. He knows exactly what direction he wants to go in and the subjects he wanted to take, he will not need a language to get into the colleges he wishes to attend. I have a daughter about to do her choices she is having to do a language that I can almost accept but she is having also to do either history or geography and they already do RE no choice in this one but again a subject that she would be happy to drop. So she can now only choose 2 other subjects and this really limits her as she is getting great results in technology art, Music and would really like to do Drama all subjects she enjoys and as she is not a confident girl these subjects give her the chance and opportunities that really help your confidence, with performing having to show off your work it is such a shame that these chance are being taken away from her. And not all of us can afford to send our children to drama classes, music classes and the like outside school. Also we are going to end up with a whole generation of frustrated teenagers who think because they struggle with language or a humanity they are failures (Not so). Our education system should be about differences as much as possible but yet again we are just creating a conveyor belt but forgetting that not every product put in at the beginning is the same so it won’t turn out the same at the end even if we do put it through the same process, we need differentiation and we need the exams and the qualification choices to reflect this as well.

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