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Teacher survey: 10% claim arts education is casualty of funding cuts

The EBacc does not require students to study an arts subject. Photo: Zurijeta/Shutterstock
Photo: Zurijeta/Shutterstock
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One in 10 teachers responding to a Guardian survey claim art, music or drama has been dropped from their schools due to funding cuts.

The Guardian Teacher Network polled more than 1,000 teachers, with 80% claiming their schools had been making general cutbacks or were planning to.

Nine percent of respondents reported that their schools had already scrapped art, music or drama, with a fifth claiming that one or more of these subjects had been given reduced timetable space.

The results follow Department for Education statistics from October 2016, which showed that the percentage of pupils taking at least one arts subject decreased from 49.6% in 2015 to 47.9% in 2016.

Figures from August 2016 showed that the number of students taking performing arts GCSE in the UK had dropped by 9% year on year, with a 4% decrease in the number of students taking drama GCSE.

The recent Guardian Teacher Network survey corresponds with the findings of separate research carried out last year, in which more than 1,800 teachers were surveyed about their work.

In this survey, 82% said there had been a decrease in exam entry rates for creative subjects and that creative subjects in schools were being “sidelined and devalued”.

In the same survey, teachers warned that the English Baccalaureate, which does not include a compulsory arts subject, had made a negative impact on cultural education.

This month marks one year since a consultation on the EBacc closed.

Deborah Annetts, founder of campaign group Bacc for the Future, said: “Dropping the unevidenced and deeply damaging EBacc would come with no political or financial cost but with huge gains to the UK’s reputation as a leading creative industries player, our economy and our skills base.

"We need to start planning our education policy in a post-Brexit world and the EBacc is a dinosaur from another era. It needs to be dropped."

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