Trinity Laban Chair calls on Government to reject harmful Ebacc proposals

Lord Lipsey, the Chair of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, will tonight (Monday 14 January) speak out in the House of Lords against the proposed changes to the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc), which if actioned, will result in a major reduction in the arts subjects available in schools.

Lord Lipsey is expected to say: "Ebacc as it is presently conformed is very bad news. No music, no dance, no arts.  Those whose parents can afford to will provide education in music and dance at school age privately. Those who can't, will see their talents wasted."

"The answer is a sixth pillar to Ebacc for such studies. If Michael Gove wants to retoxify the Tory party as the philistine party, he will continue to resist it."

Trinity Laban Principal, Professor Anthony Bowne, agrees: "The arts in school must remain the backbone of arts education. In our fast changing, dynamic world it is increasingly important that we develop creativity in our young people.

"The skill set that will prepare them for professional success will focus around the ability to synthesise as well as analyse, to recognise patterns and to empathise. The acquisition of knowledge alone is no longer sufficient."


Ends

Notes to editors

For interviews, pictures and further information, please contact Susie Haywood, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 07912 963 427, [email protected]

Lord Lipsey speech (check against delivery)

"My Lords, I chair the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. We train outstanding musicians and dancers - and are fifth amongst higher education institutions in the country for employment of our graduates, 97% in work or further study six months after graduating.

"But we can only achieve this quality of output because of the quality of our input. My Lords, we have all heard of child prodigies but in music and dance you don't get many adult prodigies, that is to say performers who started late in life. Music and dance in schools enables us to do what we do.

"For us, Ebacc as it is presently conformed is very bad news. No music, no dance, no arts.

"Ministers claim of course that they still value the arts. But we live in a harsh world. If they do not figure in Ebacc then schools, who will be judged by their Ebacc successes, will downgrade them. Indeed they already are: drama and performing arts have been dropped in nearly a quarter of schools where a subject has been withdrawn, according to a Mori poll. This is despite a YouGov poll which shows that, of the public, "88% of those expressing an opinion think that music and other creative subjects….are important or very important to a child's education."

"The composition of those who come to Trinity Laban will change as well as the quality. Those whose parents can afford to will provide education in music and dance at school age privately. Those who can't, will see their talents wasted.

"The answer is a sixth pillar to Ebacc for such studies. If Michael Gove wants to retoxify the Tory party as the philistine party, he will continue to resist it."

The English Baccalaureate and review of the National Curriculum

The English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) is currently a performance measure for secondary schools, for young people in Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16).

Schools are required to publish the number of students that get A-C grades across 5 subject areas at GCSE level. These are: English, Maths, Science, Modern Foreign Languages and Humanities (History and Geography). These are generally known as the 5 Pillars of the English Baccalaureate.

This publication of results acts a league table and there are claims that this has led schools to start prioritising these subjects over others and putting their resources and funds towards them.

An October 2012 poll by Ipsos Mori showed that over the last year alone 27% of schools cut courses as a direct result of the Ebacc measure. The previous year the figure was even higher at 45%. Of the courses cut, drama, performing arts, art and design, and design and technology are the worst hit. 

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFE-RR249

The National Curriculum covers statutory learning in schools for young people aged 5-14 (or Key Stages 1-3). It is currently under review and some draft documents for the Primary Curriculum (5-11) have been published. Art and Design, Design and Technology and Music have been named as subjects that will be included, but Drama has been stripped from the latest draft of the Primary English curriculum. The place of Dance is also in jeopardy.

The introduction of new qualifications (provisionally named English Baccalaureate Certificates or EBCs)

The Government has announced its intention to replace GCSEs with a new type of qualification. These new qualifications will be first developed for the Ebacc suite of subjects and will come into force around 2015. 

The Government says there has been a decline in the number students taking EBacc subjects over the past decade.

However, a 2011 report by the Confederation of British Industry calls for the arts to be included in the English Baccalaureate.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is the UK's only conservatoire of music and dance. Its innovative course provision, exciting performances and groundbreaking education, community and social inclusion work make Trinity Laban a leader in the advancement of elite and creative artistic practice. The organisation fosters the musicians, dancers and artistic leaders of the future, enriching Britain's vibrant cultural life and its creative industries which are vital to a balanced, diverse economy.

More than 97% of our first degree leavers are in employment or further study six months after graduation - the fifth highest figure across the entire higher education sector.

Trinity Laban runs a highly respected programme of access, participation and talent development in music and dance through outreach activities in schools and the community, and commits over £1.5M a year to widening participation and diversity initiatives. Last year we delivered 5,850 sessions of music and dance activity for children and young people, with almost 8,000 participants 

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