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Anti-EBacc petition attracts more than 8,000 signatures

Education secretary Nicky Morgan caused controversy last year with her comments on arts subjects in schools. Photo: Policy Exchange Education secretary Nicky Morgan caused controversy last year with her comments on arts subjects in schools. Photo: Policy Exchange
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More than 8,000 people have signed a petition lobbying government to include arts subjects in the English Baccalaureate.

It adds fuel to calls for a stronger cultural presence on the curriculum and comes amid campaigns by the cultural sector to recognise creative subjects as part of the EBacc. Currently the EBacc comprises English, maths, science, a language and a humanities subject.

The petition on the official parliamentary site states that “the exclusion of art, music, drama and other expressive subjects is limiting, short sighted and cruel”.

“Numeracy and literacy are certainly key to future success in life, but it is wrong to say that the arts are not worthy of inclusion in a measure used to grade a school’s success,” it continues.

The government is required to respond to petitions created by members of the public when a campaign reaches 10,000 signatures. If the petition reaches 100,000 supporters the issue will be considered for a debate in parliament.

Entitled Include expressive arts subjects in the EBacc, the petition has been supported by 8,133 people to date.

The government claims that the EBacc should be used as a “headline measure” for secondary school performance.

A government consultation launched in November set out proposals for the EBacc’s implementation, including a goal to enrol 90% of secondary school pupils.

The programme has been lauded by education secretary Nicky Morgan as the “foundations of a good education”. She added that EBacc subjects were not “the only ones that matter”, but that the an academic core would “ultimately keep options open for young people’s future”.

Other campaigns to reform EBacc plans include the Bacc for the Future campaign, which has received support from more than 100 arts organisations and more than 18,000 individuals.

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