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Petition launched to save creative writing A level

Scriptwriting tutor Jennifer Tuckett says scrapping the creative writing A level will limit the diversity of future writers. Photo: Shutterstock
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A course leader of one of the UK’s leading scriptwriting programmes has started a petition to reinstate the creative writing A level, which is due to be scrapped this year.

Jennifer Tuckett, leader of the master's course in dramatic writing at Drama Centre London, is campaigning to save the A level, scheduled to come to an end after the Department for Education turned down exam board AQA’s submission for it to continue from 2017.

The petition comes amid criticism that creativity is being pushed out of the curriculum, following the removal of the history of art A level and the exclusion of a mandatory arts subject in the English Baccalaureate.

Tuckett said: “If writing is a chance to reflect on who we were, who we are and who we can be, it is important anyone has a chance to pursue this career and become a writer.

“By removing the opportunity to consider this subject for A level, you are then guiding students away from considering this career path later on, which is then limiting the diversity of writers and making it more likely the same kinds of people will be the ones who become writers.

“This is why the creative writing A level is so important. It has been shown that the subjects we study at school lead to the subjects we consider for university and careers. And when we become parents, our own choices influence the choices we guide our children to make.”

The MA course is also linking up with performing arts publishers Oberon Books to launch a new series of books focused on providing advice on dramatic writing, as part of its campaign to increase access and diversity in the writing industry.

Contributors to the first book include Ola Animashawun, founder of London's Royal Court Theatre’s young writers' programme; Fin Kennedy, artistic director of Tamasha Theatre Company; and Kate Rowland, the founder of BBC Writersroom.

The petition is accompanied by a survey investigating the future of dramatic writing training to gather information on this subject, with the results to be reported at London Writers' Week.

The petition to reinstate the creative writing A level can be found here.

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