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Lord Baker’s letter on the Ebacc and arts subjects

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Exams and qualifications, GCSE

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Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at a letter published in the Telegraph today, Monday 19 August, from former Education Secretary Lord Baker to the current Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

The letter focusses on the effect of the Ebacc on the education system, with Lord Baker arguing that it has caused a fall in entries for arts and creative subjects. He also argues that the Ebaac is responsible for technical education being ‘squeezed out’ of schools at GCSE level.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The EBacc is at the core of our mission to drive up social mobility by encouraging all young people to take the core academic subjects that are essential for keeping their options open for further study and future careers.

Since its introduction in 2010, the percentage of pupils taking EBacc subjects at GCSE has risen from 22% to 38% and we were pleased to see that Ofqual’s 2019 provisional GCSE entry data indicated a 4% increase in entries to EBacc subjects this year.

The Ebacc, which should be studied alongside other subjects like the arts that reflect pupils’ interests, has also been instrumental in halting and reversing the decline in uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE, which will make sure young people are able to communicate in an increasingly global marketplace.

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