Create a noise – say no to the English Bacc. and what it means for creativity…

Image by Anna B. Sexton

End the diversion – bring back a balanced education curriculum

Sometimes I just need to stand up and speak out what is my truth and my time has come… it is time to STAND UP & STOP the steady eradication to access to the arts, design and crafts from the UK school curriculum.

Thanks to Mr. Gove and the, current short sighted, Government who have passed through Parliament the re-structuring of educational measurement and qualifications post 16. Thanks because you have given me the platform to champion not just creativity within arts, design and craft but creativity in all aspects of the education curriculum and life.

How the hell can we as a society grow the creative industries when creativity seems not have an equal playing field within the education strategy and curriculum in the UK? What makes science more important than arts or design?

Why not a Eng. Bacc structure that has “6 pillars” (to quote Henry Ward, Deputy Head, Welling School) including creativity subjects at the heart of a healthy and balanced post 16 offer?

Stick with me as this is important on such fundamental level I could actually incite a revolution… want to join me?

What is it all about? I will quote directly here as it’s important to have our facts straight at times like this via

“For the last year we have all suspected that the introduction of the English Baccalaureate would have a significant effect on the place of the arts and culture in schools, and over the last few weeks we have started to see some evidence that this really is the case. A recent poll by Ipsos Mori shows that over the last year alone 27% of schools have cut courses as a direct result of the EBacc’s introduction. Of the courses cut, Drama, Performing Arts, Art and Design and Design and Technology are the worst hit.

Last month we reported Michael Gove’s plans to create new qualifications that will replace GCSEs in the EBacc subjects. He said that these would be ‘linear’, would not involve coursework and would be assessed at the end of the two year period. Civil servants estimate that these new qualifications will take up 80% of curriculum time. If the arts and creative subjects are not included within this new suite of qualifications, then we risk a two-tier system where our disciplines are squeezed into remaining time and where they are seen as less important, less rigorous and of less value than others. This is a bleak outlook, and may only be compounded by the new plans for an ABacc (to come in to force at A-level), which initially seems to define Arts subjects only as English and History.

Central policy reform is not supporting schools to include the arts and culture in their offer. In addition to the disincentive of the EBacc, our National Curriculum is being restructured to marginalise several artforms – Drama has been stripped from the latest draft Primary Curriculum, and the place of Dance is looking increasingly uncertain.” 

Think on now to those experiences you had growing up  – now you may not have been a massive arts head but imagine not having a rounded curriculum to choose from?

See the potential deep harm these measures will line up for our future generations?

Feel the fear around a Government that can so significantly be contradicting  itself – on one hand it’s  “let’s grow the creative economies, grow creative entrepreneurs, let’s celebrate creative Britain”


Passing these scathing measures giving current and future generations of children and young people lack of access to some of the key forms of self expression, self discovery and personal development out there.

And I don’t see arts, design, crafts, dance as any less relevant or important as Maths, English, science, History, Geography…

I am standing to championing access to all ways creativity can be developed across the curriculum…

And these rights are enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

So what next….

  • Most of all don’t stand by and let this erosion of future create potential and creative innovation happen!
Leave a comment


  1. With Art & Design squeezed out of the mainstream curricular it will demote it to a vocational or hobbyist activity and reduce the value of the creative industries. And yet, the creative industries are quoted by peer group Ministers as the fastest growing sector with international aclaim and high export contributions. Go figure. How quickly have they forgotten Danny Boyle’s Olympic 2012 opening ceremony?

    • Anna B Sexton

       /  December 18, 2012

      Maxine Horn
      Thank you for your comments – they make total sense and I agree.
      This is why I find the Government’s current stand on post 16 education so at odds with the data on the long term personal, professional and economic benefits to the UK from follow creative subjects.
      I can only hope all our collective voices make some difference.
      Do keep in touch!
      Best wishes,
      Anna B. Sexton

  2. Its crazy That people can not see how important creativity is for the human race The loss of creativity Is a sad and scary thought, Creativity Its part of what makes us think and feel and communicate, Some people are so short sighted of the value of creativity and how it plays its part in the making of a well rounded person. To think it is thought not as important as maths, English, science is ridiculous, what is great grammar or punctuation without an imagination? not poetry or stories. and what is a world without stories or paintings or plays
    creative subjects are just as important as any other subject. if not more important as they help shape the way we use the knowledge in other subjects, without imagination we are robots.

  1. Create a noise – say no to the English Bacc. and what it means for creativity… « Anna B Sexton

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