New figures released by the Department for Education have revealed that the number of students taking at least one arts subject at GCSE or AS Level have declined in 2016.
The statistics reveal that the percentage of pupil taking one arts subject or more has fallen from 49.6% to 47.9%. This is the lowest figure since 2013. It was also the first time that the figure had fallen year-on-year since 2012.
Responding to the recent research, founder of Bacc for the Future campaign and chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians Deborah Annetts said: “This confirms our fears that the new EBacc proposal which was announced by the Department for Education in November last year is having an immediate impact on the uptake of creative, artistic and technical subjects in schools. This is on top of an overall decline of eight percent in the uptake of arts subjects at GCSE this year.
“We cannot afford to harm the creation of the professionals for the future by squeezing the arts out of the curriculum in secondary schools.”
It was also revealed in August that the amount of students choosing to study performing arts, at both GCSE and A Level had dropped by as much as 9% and 15% respectively.
Some arts education campaigners have suggested that the statistics confirm worries that the English Baccalaureate qualification is having a significant impact on students’ decisions to choose creative subjects. This follows a recent report from the Creative Industries Federation which last week warned that the UK’s creative industries were experiencing a shortage in skills due to failings in the education system.
This follows the shocking news that the History of Art A Level has been axed this week following awarding body AQA’s decision to remove the subject from its range of A Level choices.