Cultural Learning Alliance

The arts associate enjoyment with skill, order, insight. Culture and education belong together; in fact essentially are together

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Arts GCSEs to be reformed for 2016

Published 11 April 2014

On Wednesday Michael Gove, Education Secretary announced that Art & Design, Dance, Drama and Music GCSEs would be part of the suite of qualifications reformed ready for teaching from 2016.

A Levels in Dance, Drama and Music will also be reformed along side other subjects, again ready for teaching from September 2016.

This is very good news.

We were concerned that some arts GCSEs and A Levels might cease to exist and end up as solely vocational qualifications. We also were worried that if arts GCSEs were not reformed to the same timetable as other subjects they might be seen as less valuable.

In the press release announcing the plans Gove spoke warmly about the value of cultural learning saying: 

I am passionate about great art, drama, dance, music and design, and I am determined to ensure every child enjoys access to the best in our culture. I also want all schools to be able to nurture creative talent in every child.

We really welcome this very positive statement and hope arts subjects start to reclaim some of the lost ground in our schools which saw last year a decrease of 14% in GCSE entries to arts subjects.

Other announcements about reforms to A Level and EBacc GCSEs content and assessment were made on the same day. We are looking at the detail of these and will publish a more considered response and analysis after Easter. 


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The Sage Gateshead Comusica. Photo: Mark Savage
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