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MPs question education reform

Campaign group #includedesign has welcomed comments from MPs that criticise government plans to overhaul British education and call for a “red light” on reform.

As previously reported by .net, the government plans to introduce the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) to replace GCSEs. In the current plans, ‘core’ subjects (maths, English, a foreign language, science, and history or geography) are given priority over other creative subjects, such as design. Some schools will only offer one 'creative' day per term.

According to a press release, the cross-party Education Select Committee, stated, “[The] case for the abolition of key GCSEs is still unproven” and the government is “trying to do too much, too fast”. It added, "There is a lack of overall coherence in the government’s approach to reform of the curriculum, qualifications and school accountability system”.

Deborah Annetts, coordinator of the Bacc for the Future campaign and chief of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, admitted, “Few people doubt the need for Key Stage 4 reform”. She pointed at the Education Select Committee’s concerns, notably the potential formation of a “divisive two-tier education system” and drew attention to the lack of creative subjects in the proposal, despite the UK’s success in creative industries.

She continued, “Given the economic significance of the creative economy should be a no-brainer; we must not lose the creative legacy of the Olympics and Paralympics."

Joe Macleod from the #includedesign campaign added: "Design and the creative industries are hugely important to the UK economy and the exclusion of design and other creative subjects from EBacc threatens the pipeline of homegrown creative talent that will be needed for their future success. It’s vital the government now takes a step back and reconsiders these reforms to ensure they do not cause irreparable damage to children and the economy."

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