It's not the end of the world as we know it

5th April 2013 at 01:00

With regards to "An art-free EBac is not the end of the world" (Comment, 22 March): some may have misread the English Baccalaureate as a great opportunity to "relax the level of state political control of arts education" when it was just the opposite. And, while calling some subjects "sciences" does not rule out scientific enquiry in others (and, conversely, calling some subjects "creative" or "arts" does not rule out creative or artistic endeavour elsewhere), more important than this high-minded opinion is the reality of what has been going on.

It was not the "arts establishment" that specifically highlighted the absence of creative subjects from the EBac and sought its improvement but parents, teachers, students, the NAHT heads' union, the NUT, Include Design, the CBI, the Creative Industries Council, the Design Council, the Music Education Council, Heads for the Arts, artists, musicians and 45,000 petitioners.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) set up Bacc for the Future because we had evidence that music education and other arts subjects were being harmed in and out of school, in formal and non-formal settings, and in state-controlled and non-state controlled environments. It may be a sad thing to say, but the EBac was harming provision of art, dance, drama and music in schools. While it may not have been the "end of the world", for some students it was the end of opportunity.

Deborah Annetts, ISM chief executive and Bacc for the Future coordinator.

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