Perry, Emin, Kapoor, Whiteread, Gormley and 100 more demand EBacc u-turn

The cream of Britain’s artists have demanded a reversal of the exclusion of creative subjects from the secondary school curriculum.

Writing to The Guardian newspaper today, artists also including Phyllida Barlow, Edmund de Waal, Tacita Dean and Mark Wallinger, say they believe the new English Baccalaureate, or EBacc, introduced by former education secretary Michael Gove for secondary schools which excludes creative subjects “will seriously damage the future of many young people in this country”.

The letter says that creative subjects are in in decline in state schools, and that entries to arts and creative subjects are at their lowest level for a decade. “Young people are being deprived of opportunities for personal development in the fields of self-expression, sociability, imagination and creativity” it says.

The artists, who with several Turner Prize winners among them represent the finest in visual arts achievement in this country, counterbalance the lack of creative education with the success of Britain’s global industries, worth £92bn a year to the economy, that depend on  creative training.

“We call on the government to reverse its decision to blindly press ahead with the Ebacc, regardless of the consultation responses and in the face of overwhelming evidence against this policy” letter concludes.

“If we care about social mobility, wellbeing and economic growth – and if we want our creative industries to continue to flourish – we need to rebalance our education system so that the arts are valued just as much as other subjects.

“Every child should have equal access to the benefits that the arts and culture bring, not just a privileged few.”

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