MPs have called for arts subjects to be included in the English Baccalaureate, to ensure “all students benefit from a creative education” at GCSE level.
The MPs made the demand in a wide-ranging report looking into the live music industry. It was produced following an inquiry into the economic, cultural and social benefits of live music in the UK.
One of the areas the report covers is the EBacc, a school performance measure announced in 2010 by Michael Gove, which does not include arts subjects.
The committee heard that pupils are free to study arts and creative subjects in their remaining discretionary GCSE options.
However, the committee said it had also received evidence that pupils living in areas with higher levels of income deprivation are less likely to study more than seven GCSEs than pupils living in areas with lower levels of deprivation.
It added: “In 2013 our predecessor committee recommended in its report on supporting the creative economy that arts be included in the list of approved EBacc subjects, and the concerns we have heard during this inquiry suggest the need is no less pressing now. We repeat the call for arts subjects to be added to the EBacc to ensure all students benefit from a creative education at GCSE.”
In addition, the report called for “frictionless travel for musicians, touring personnel and their equipment” once the UK has left the EU. It said it supported calls for a EU-wide touring visa to enable free movement.
“We support the industry’s calls for the introduction of an EU-wide touring visa, which the government should pursue in its future relationship with the European Union. We also urge the government to resist any arrangements that would result in the reintroduction of temporary customs documents for touring equipment,” it said.
The report also urged members of the public not to buy or sell tickets on secondary site Viagogo.
In a report into the live music sector, the Digital, Media, Culture and Sports committee said “Viagogo had yet to prove itself a trustworthy operator given its history of resisting compliance”.
Earlier this month, the Competitions and Markets Authority said it was considering further legal action because it had failed to comply with a court order secured last year.
The report said that Viagogo had “yet to prove itself a trustworthy operator”.
“It is imperative that the CMA acts promptly and decisively to bring Viagogo into line with consumer law and, until it does so, we advise the public not to buy or sell tickets via Viagogo,” it said.