Help protect expressive arts subjects from the EBacc

The Parliamentary Petition, which criticises the exclusion of art, drama, music and other creative subjects is backed by the Bacc for the Future campaign and One Dance UK to save creative subjects in secondary schools. The Education Policy Institute (2017) released a report of the impact of the Ebacc on GCSE art subjects uptake. The report shows that the number of pupils taking at least one arts subject is declining whilst the number of students enrolled onto Ebacc subjects is increasing

Entry to Ebacc Components 2010-2016, p. 56

Entries to all arts subjects at KS4, 2007-16, p. 20

Nick Gibb announced that there will be £496 million for arts provision for the gifted and talented development of young people. Many are grateful for the grants, because “any money is better than no money”, but as Deborah Annetts of The Telegraph comments “it is being undermined by the EBacc.” There has been a response from the industries. For example, in the Telegraph,Tamara Rojo of the English National Ballet calls for the arts to be included in the EBacc. The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) respond by highlighting exactly where the funds are going. They highlight that the funds are facilitating already up and running talented programmes and this “cannot make up for the loss of opportunity to take part in the arts for every child in and out of school”. They also pick at Nick Gibb’s out of date data when he comments that arts “pupils in state funded schools taking at least one arts subject has stayed at a similar level since 2011, when the government introduced the English Baccalaureate”.

Previously, CLA have debated that Gibb’s statistics are outdated and incorrect. CLA report It is down to what information is included in the calculations. Our numbers include Design and Technology and Dance, which the DfE figures exclude. We also focus just on GCSE entries, the DfE included AS Levels in their numbers. Finally we use 2010 as a baseline, before the EBacc was announced, the DfE figures use 2011 After A’Level results day 2018 Bacc to the Future confirmed a continued decline in uptake in all creative subjects at A-level over the past five years. During that period, uptake in all creative subjects has dropped by 11%, compared to a fall of 2.6% in A-level entries overall. One Dance UK reported on 2017/18 GCSE and A’Level entries had fallen again:

  • GCSE Dance entries 2017 9400.
  • GCSE Dance entries 2018 8795
  • A’Level Dance entries 2017 1430
  • A’Level Dance entries 2018 1350

In 2016, One Dance UK’s Chief Executive Andrew Hurst added his signatory to a combined letter published by The Daily Telegraph to raise the profile of the issue in advance of the debate on 4 July. The letter was signed by a number of cultural and education sector leaders and coordinated by The Bacc for the Future campaign. Download Evidence to support your case.

How To Get Involved

  • Download our one-page list of actions that you can take to help keep dance on the curriculum.
  • Forward Dance Education, Guide for trustees and governors to your head teachers and governors at your school.
  • Keep, read and forward this Advocating for Dance document to help build the case for dance in education.
  • Help ensure the argument for dance is made during the debate – write to your local MP encouraging them to speak up for ensuring that children and young people have access to the arts and the creative subjects as part of the curriculum.
  • Go to the Bacc for the Future campaign website where you find all the information you need including a guide to find your local MP and a template letter you can use to write to your local MP.
  • We also encourage you to contact teachers and any parents in your local area you may know whose children will miss out as a result of these changes to the curriculum and urge them to write to the local MP as well.
  • Spread the word – tell your colleagues, friends and family about the campaign and spread the word through twitter (using the hash tag #baccforthefuture), Facebook and other social media.
  • The Bacc for the Future campaign website has lots of helpful information and guidance and ways you can help with the campaign.

Feel free to get in touch with One Dance UK to let us know about your MP’s response by emailing [email protected] or for any school matters email Dance in Education Manager [email protected]  




Rebecca Johnes (2017) Entries to Art Subjects at Key Stage 4. Educational Policy Institute.