Cultural Learning Alliance

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Michael Boyd
Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company


Arts GCSEs consultation report

Published 07 March 2014

Download Consultation Report on Arts Subjects at Key Stage 4.


This report forms part of Arts Council England's activity on Arts GCSEs ahead of work by the Department for Education and Ofqual on GCSE reform. Thank you to the many Cultural Learning Alliance members who contributed.

The report responds to and tests the conclusions of the CFE Research report Arts Subjects at Key Stage 4: A review of current GCSE provision and the development of proposed programmes of study.

In 2013 Arts Council England commissioned independent research into what a high quality GCSE in the four subjects of Art & Design, Dance, Drama and Music should look like. The aim was to inform strategic discussions on the future development and the delivery of the Key Stage 4 Arts curriculum. 

Creative & Cultural Skills, on behalf of Arts Council England, commissioned independent research agency CFE to undertake this work between April and October 2013.

The CLA was asked by Arts Council England to work through its membership and networks to run a series of roundtables and interviews to test and give feedback on the CFE report. 122 experts took part in roundtables and interviews from November 2013 to January 2014.



An excellent report. However, the discount codes, rules of 1st entry and Attainment 8 measures are having a strong and detrimental effect on KS4 curriculum design. The lack of easily available information and clarity for subjects such as GCSE Performing Arts Double Award is currently shocking! Whilst I welcome the recent review and separation of Dance and Drama, there is still a problem with Performing Arts. We have students studying this qualification using lighting and sound as their media. This is not the same as GCSE Drama - it is a technical, non-performing course, yet is discounted against drama. Likewise with BTEC Performing Arts, which can be based around production, non-performance skills. The pressure needs to be maintained to create separate qualifications with different codes if students are to be given access to a wide range of courses in the future. Also to continue lobbying for the inclusion of an Arts subject within the ebacc.
Liv Bradbury 09 March 2014
As a Deaf Arts graduate and currently working with Deaf students within secondary education, the consultation paper seems to omit an important segment of KS4 students - students identified with SEN. Surprising, as this year sees the start of a proposed Education, Health and Care joined up support for each SEN student up to the age of 25. Most SEN individuals value KS4 Art as part of their academic and personal development. This segment benefits a great deal from good teaching in the creative arts, unlocking thinking skills and visual production, as well as understanding project skills. A lot of people-skillset is actively invloved in the curriculum. Please do always remember this segment in future consultations of any subject. Thanks
Penelope Beschizza 31 March 2014

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2009 Summer Show at Benton Park Primary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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