Many experts in the British arts industry have called for the expansion – or at worst, termination – of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) program as it has significantly decreased the number of qualified students graduating from high school and entering tertiary education programs in the field.
One recalls British Graphic Designer, Typographer and Art Director Neville Brody expressing fears in a September 2012 interview that the Ebacc will discourage students from studying arts subjects, leading to the closure of some UK art schools and a decline of the creative industries. Well, that seems the trend going forward.
They haven’t included any creative subjects as part of the Ebacc, which is absolutely short-sighted insanity – Neville Brody
The widely controversial Ebacc program is forcing students in the United Kingdom (UK) to choose between art subjects instead of giving them the opportunity to participate in multiple courses with arts focus.
Ebacc limits children’s choices of a career path
Creative artists look at Ebacc as “one of the biggest mistakes in British government” and agreed that the government is trying to “demolish and smash all ideas about creative education” as it wants to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects.
Creative subjects such as art and design will not count towards the EBacc qualifications, which instead are graded on performance in academic “stem” subjects. These stem subjects are English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences, and a language.
Ebacc has become controversial as it limits students’ opportunities when it comes to education in the field of arts. Even some celebrities and influential members of the society in the United Kingdom have spoken out against the program.
According to many, the Ebacc program is limiting children’s ability to chose a developmental path they enjoy. For example, while one student can sing, some of their classmates can both sing and draw.
However, according to the Ebacc program, students can choose only a single subject with a focus on the arts. Thus, students are forced to choose between the type of art they like better, which, in turn, inhibits them from developing all their talents.
Ebacc and arts education
Arts subjects have been gradually fading away from school curriculums, as there is less and less financing dedicated to this sector. Just recently, parents in Wales expressed concerns that they have to pay additional tuition to send their children to music classes.
While most private schools in the country have harnessed an interest in arts, public schools have become less inclined to pay attention to these classes. This is a worrying tendency, as students all over the United Kingdom have been deprived of the opportunity to fully pursue an artistic career in several different fields.
This trend is mainly due to the limits the program sets for the number of art subjects available to students during their secondary education.