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The Incorporated Society of Musicians, Bacc for the Future, Include Design and Heads for the Arts respond to GCSE announcement.

This is a response to the Government announcement that they will introduce a ‘new eight-subject measure of GCSEs, including English and maths, three subjects out of sciences, languages, history and geography and three other subjects, such as art, music or RE’ and the announcement that the English Baccalaureate Certificates are being dropped in favour of reformed, rigorous GCSEs. The detail of the announcement will be scrutinised over the coming days and weeks.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM and coordinator of the Bacc for the Future campaign said:

‘We welcome this announcement; this is good news for children and good news for education. We must learn from the last six months of consultation and ensure we work together to create high quality and rigorous GCSEs and A Levels with appropriate assessment fit for the 21st Century. Creative subjects such as art, music and design and technology need to stay at the heart of education so that we can develop talented youngsters to feed our creative industries and generate growth.

‘The voices of the creative industries and education sectors have been listened to, and we welcome this. We will now be looking closely at the new proposed National Curriculum for music and work with the Government to ensure that we have a National Curriculum, GCSEs and A-levels fit for the future.’

Joe Macleod, Global Design Director at ustwo and coordinator of #IncludeDesign campaign said:

‘This is fantastic news for the whole of the design industry and creative economy. That Michael Gove is now listening to the 100 creative industry and education leaders who handed in a letter to Number 10 last week raising their serious concerns is a great step forwards.

‘Without these changes to the EBacc, we would have lost the designers, architects and creatives of the future, as their talents would have been constricted by schools being pushed to prioritise an unnecessarily narrow range of subjects that reflected the past and not the future. The creative industries are worth more than £60 billion a year to the UK economy and it would have been a catastrophe if creative subjects such as design & technology had been lost from schools at Key Stage 4. Now we need to see the same breadth included at A-Level too.’

Peter Nutkins, Headmaster of Humphrey Perkins School, Loughborough, and a member of the Heads for the Arts group, said:

‘We welcome the announcement today by Mr Gove that creative subjects are to be included in his new eight subject measure of GCSEs. Creativity is the heart and soul of a school and deserves to have its rightful place in any curriculum that seeks to challenge and inspire a generation. Having responded to the outcry from the select committee, education and industry sectors over the exclusion of subjects such as music and art as well as the pace of change, we now look for a clear way forward to ensure the highest standards across the curriculum delivered over a sensible timescale.’


Contact for arranging interviews and further information: Jonathan Smith: [email protected] 07957 192 448 or Henry Vann: [email protected] or 07791 138 853.

Attached is a low-res image of Joe Macleod and Deborah Annetts at Downing Street to hand in the letter from 100 creative industry and education leaders (also attached) and one with the presidents of the NUT and NAHT. For full res images, contact Peter Arkell at [email protected]

The ISM is co-ordinating the Bacc for the Future campaign (www.baccforthefuture.com) of over 100 creative industry and education organisations including the BPI, UK Music, Design Council, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the #IncludeDesign campaign group, the Heads for the Arts campaign group, Shakespeare’s Globe, the NUT and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The campaign has which has amassed nearly 50,000 signatures and a huge amount of public support from high-profile figures. The ISM asks that the Government slow down the pace of reform, include creative subjects such as music, art, drama, dance and design in the EBacc. There must be one qualification with subject-appropriate and rigorous modes of assessment.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK’s professional body for musicians, providing a distinctive range of services to its membership of performers and music professionals. The Incorporated Society of Musicians aims to promote the art of music and champion the interests of musicians, raising professional standards, and providing legal advice and other benefits to its members. Its members include performers, composers, music teachers and industry professionals. The ISM has over 100 corporate members including all the music Conservatoires, university music departments, Trinity Guildhall, ABRSM, Association of British Orchestras, Federation of Music Services, Jazz Services, Music for Youth, Oxford University Press, specialist music schools including Chetham’s School of Music and the Yehudi Menuhin School, as well as music industry and trade organisations such as PPL, the Music Industries Association, Yamaha Music, and the International Artist Managers’ Association. The ISM is co-ordinating the Bacc for the Future campaign.

#IncludeDesign is campaign supported by over 300 of the UK and World’s biggest design and creative agencies. It’s aim is to champion design and creative subjects in school and ensure the proposed Government education reforms keep design and other creative subjects at the heart of education. #includeDesign is calling creative subjects, including design, to be included as part of the Key Stage 4 reforms. The campaign is also backed by high profile names from the design and business world including Stella McCartney, Sir Jonathan Ive, Olympic Torch designers Edward Barber RDI and Jay Osgerby RDI, Sir Terence Conran, the Design Council, and D&AD. www.includedesign.org

Heads for the Arts is a group of Headteachers who represent highly successful Secondary Schools across England. What we have in common is a track record of success that is underpinned by strong Arts provision. The Schools we represent cover inner city, rural and suburban communities. Some are multi-cultural, some are not; some serve affluent areas; some the most socially deprived communities in the country. www.headsforthearts.org