Cultural Learning Alliance

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

Quentin Blake
Author / Illustrator


Teacher survey: impact of the EBacc on arts and culture in schools

Published 10 January 2013

Calling all secondary teachers – survey of impact of the Ebacc on the arts.

If you work in a secondary school or college, or teach at KS3, 4 or 5 please take 10 minutes to fill in our survey on the Impact of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Don’t work at secondary level? Can you forward this on to someone who does?

We know many of our members are extremely concerned that the EBacc performance measure for schools does not include arts subjects. There is already a decline in the number of young people studying the arts from age 14, and as we reported in our last newsletter, recent research published by the Department for Education showed that as a direct result of the EBacc schools are cutting drama, art, design and technology courses.

We need more information about what is happening on the ground. Filling in this quick survey will provide us with more evidence about the impact of the EBacc on the provision and prioritisation of arts and cultural subjects in schools, and will help us make the case for cultural learning to government.

We know several partner organisations are working up their own data on the EBacc and we will be collaborating with them to align and incorporate all our findings. However, this particular survey is specific to the arts and culture and so is not replicating others.  Please do take the time to fill it in - it will make a real difference.

Survey link:


Big worries for a academic students leaving the arts as they are forced to take subject to get them a university place. "Hard subjects, soft subject"vocabulary is totally blinkered and hierarchical which suggests people who opt for creative roles or careers are less intelligent. Balanced learning and rounded education is not one which is dominated by humanities subjects. Many schools will be forced to employ more staff in certain faculty areas or as happens in many schools students will be taught ebacc subjects from non specialist teachers. Secondary education requires passion & knowledge to engage your learners. It will be sad to see creative innovators diminished by the government new and yet very old fashioned ebacc.
Natalie Gray 30 November 2012
I am personally concerned that Gove et al want all the lifeskills delivered via the Arts, esp. Drama , but seem too blinkered to realise that decision making, communication, confidence, problem solving, imagination, adaptability, team work etc ..can be delivered no other way. Other subjects do not develop the full range of life skills.
Goodwin 05 December 2012
One of the many reasons I became a Dance teacher was to contradict the stereotype that Dance was for people who were less academic. I attended a Grammar School (12 A* - C grades, 4 A levles), then university (2:1) and then I completed a PGCE. By the age of 21 I had achieved a lot academically and I always found it strange that these were the grades focused on rather than the copious Dance and Music examinations that I had also achieved in a variety of styles and instruments. Who is to say that a top grade in a school subject is worth more than a top grade in an instrument exam? Who makes that decision? People in the Performing Arts have to understand theory and write essays like everyone else. More than that, they also have to be able in a practical sense - performing. Even more, they have to understand business, marketing their talents, often being self-employed. They are people who have to have good communication skills, something that many "academics" struggle with. People in the Performing Arts are people who go above and beyond the typical sit-down form of study or work. They are people who can be inspired and be inspiring. THESE are the people and traits we want to encourage. THESE are the people who can make a difference to our world.
Imogen Vasey 05 December 2012
Michael Gove seems immune to the fact that the UK's success story is creativity. If a creative experience isn't made available to children and young people at school it will remain closed to them often for the rest of their lives. This will have an effect on the UK's economy and to their own, personal life experience. I contributed to making arts and performance skills available to young people through BBC Blast so on practical and evidence-based grounds understand how it can change people's lives - and develop skills which contribute to the Nation's coffers.
Jane Quinn 06 December 2012

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engage: Peckham Park Primary at South London Gallery. Image: Richard Eaton
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