Former culture secretary Maria Miller has dismissed fears that the government’s controversial English Baccalaureate system is having a negative impact on arts subjects, calling them “myths” that have been “laid to rest”.
Her comments came less than two weeks after the government body Ofqual released figures revealing an 11% decrease in students taking non-EBacc subjects, including a 9% slump in the uptake of drama GCSE.
Speaking in the House of Commons during a debate on education and local services, Miller referred to a report published in February by the New Schools Network.
It claimed that take-up of arts GCSEs has increased since the EBacc came into effect in 2011/12.
Miller said she was pleased to see the report had “laid to rest some of the myths about the introduction of the EBacc, particularly that it might be reducing young people’s ability to follow arts subjects”.
Miller added: “The excellent research showed that although young people focus on English, maths, science, a language, history and geography, they are able to include other arts subjects in their GCSE choices.”
She was secretary of state for culture, media and sport between 2012 and 2014, but resigned after controversy over her expenses.