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To re-join MN after a bit of a sabbatical to ask you to froth a bit and sign this very important education related petition

(77 Posts)
FontSnob Fri 23-Nov-12 21:56:57

Well, good evening, hope you're all enjoying friday night bum sex and pom bears. I'm back to froth (are any of you still here?).

Please could you sign this petition to make Gove re-think the inclusion of creative subjects in the Ebacc.

Today we were told today that our entire expressive arts department had been up for the axe, RE and PSHE has gone which is utter lunacy in our multi faith world - way to promote tolerance. We have been 'saved' but are on a much reduced timetable slot and students taking the Ebacc will only be allowed 1 choice from the extensive list of options from the rest of the subject choices, stopping many students from studying what they may actually want to study.

This is what we were expecting the reality of the Ebacc to result in, that isn't making me less angry though.

Some facts:

- The consultation on the EBacc is open until 10 December 2012

- The proposed EBacc is not fit for purpose. It will deny children a fully rounded education.

-Subjects are being withdrawn from the curriculum. The IPSOS Mori survey (2012) reported that at key stage 4, drama and performing arts had been dropped in nearly a quarter of schools, 17 per cent had withdrawn art courses and 14 per cent design technology.

-It will harm the economy - our creative industries are world-beaters - they contribute 6% of GDP, employ two million people and export over £16 billion annually.

If i've missed this being posted already i apologise, but i guess it can't hurt to try again!

Thanks all.

FontSnob Sat 24-Nov-12 12:50:23

Well PSHE has been cut from sept in our particular academy and RE too, that's the the dept, not just Gcse level, I'm not sure where the important lessons that students learn about life, tolerance and the multi faith world we live in are going to come from. It's amazingly short sighted and wrong.

For the record youngermum. Signing this petition has nothing to do with me saving my part time job as an outstanding teacher. I'm seriously considering getting out of teaching because I feel so strongly about the awful hatchet job that Gove is intent on doing. So please don't be so rude.

youngermother1 Sun 25-Nov-12 18:26:08

Don't think it was rude, perhaps should have said protecting your personal preference rather than job - The idea of free schools and academies is that governors, including parent governors, essentially choose the school curriculum, with the aim of attracting parents to send their children there. Therefore schools which offer what parents want will thrive and those that don't will fail and close.
The EBACC is essentially aimed at ensuring all schools offer what the govt think is a basic minimum, adding to this reduces the options schools can offer, not increases them. If the EBACC was, say 9 subjects, then schools could not offer anything else. This is why I am in favour of limiting the subjects included and will not sign. If parents agree with you, then they will demand these subjects and the schools will offer them and you will be happy. Where there is freedom of choice, anything included by govt dictat is essentially imposing what is not the wishes of the parents, and I am not in favour of this.

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 19:18:04

Yes, I thought that was the idea of free schools, academies etc etc. the reality is very very different. I am trying to protect choice for students. Not an ideal, not my personal preference, I'm also pissed off that RE and PSHE are suffering.. No matter what you believe the truth is that parents have NO say in many schools and academies. The students have LESS choice in the subjects they want to take. Before they had 4 choices plus the core. Now they have 1 plus the ebacc subjects. Please explain how the is promoting choice? Including more subjects in the ebacc will mean a larger choice of subjects for students and will promote a more rounde education. I don't really understand how you can argue that?

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 19:19:27

It's not about wanting to have more subjects in the Ebacc, just a greater choice of subjects.

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 19:24:07

Oh, and do you realise that that basic minimum that our dear Mr. Gove believes is best for our kids includes The choice of a modern or ancient languages. Yep. Latin. He feels it is more important to include Latin as a choice over say Design Technology.

HenriettaChicken Sun 25-Nov-12 19:28:18


TheFallenMadonna Sun 25-Nov-12 19:31:38

If you don;t plan to increase the number of subjects in the EBacc, then which of the current subjects would you allow to be replaced with Drama, or Food Tech?

TheFallenMadonna Sun 25-Nov-12 19:32:27

My academy still has its specialism.

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 19:45:56

Why is history more important as a GCSE to every child than one of the arts subjects? What about the students who want to go on to study the arts at a level? Why would history be more important to them? I also didn't say that specialisms had dissapeared completely? Do you still get extra money for your specialism or is it in name only now?

youngermother1 Sun 25-Nov-12 20:24:37

As an academic subject, Latin is far more important than DT. Agreed schools should offer more than the EBACC, but it is an academic qualification, not all, or even most, children need that. Parents have full say in the school curriculum because they take their children out if they don't like it. If no school offers what they want they start a new school - this is the whole point of the policy.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 25-Nov-12 20:54:36

The EBacc is (at the moment...) not for every child. We have an EBacc pathway, where students can still choose two optional subjects in addition to a humanity and a language (English, Maths and Science being Core subjects and therefore studied by everyone). Other students are offered a wider range of options, including vocational subjects and art/drama/DT.

So, currently, our EBacc students still study Art, or DT, or Music. Or perhaps PE if that's more their thing. And can do them at A level should they wish.

And subjects like MFL, which had a very low take up rate are (rightly IMO) now having a bit of a resurgance.

I wish Science time was being doubled. Currently we teach Science on 2 lessons a week per GCSE, which is less thant he 2.5 hours enjoyed by all other subjects except Maths, who get even more!

MooncupGoddess Sun 25-Nov-12 21:03:15

I'm slightly confused by what the petition is asking; is it asking for it to be compulsory for students to take a creative GCSE as part of the EBacc, in the same way it's compulsory to take history or geography?

If so I don't agree with it; I'm very much in favour of all students having the chance to do an arts subject or two (and they all have two or three optional choices on top of the core EBacc subjects, yes?), but I don't see why it should be compulsory.

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 22:39:24

The ebacc as it stands gives you 3 compulsory options and two options. Option one is either history or geography. Option two is a language modern or ancient. What we want is for the arts to be placed within that set of choices. Why shouldn't RE be part of humanities? Or art, music and drama? That choice would open up the ebacc to being more in line with our place in the worlds economy and creative output. We are leaders in so many things like music film and arts and we should foster that alongside our sciences and languages. We should be creating creative thinkers in any field. Give students the options to take more than one arts subject so that those who want to can.

I'm not saying that this is going to happen in all schools. But the point is it should be allowed to happen in ANY school.

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 23:00:24

FallenMadonna, what if the student wants to study art and pe? Or art, drama and pe? How are there needs being met. Because the pathway option has everything to do with ability and the more able kids will be pushed into the ebacc. Even if they do want to study 2 arts and one PE?

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 23:03:19

*I'm not saying that this is going to happen in all schools. But the point is it should be allowed to happen in ANY school.

That should be that it shouldn't be allowed to happen... My rant led me to sloppy typing.

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 23:05:09

And a there/their incident to apologise for.

MooncupGoddess Sun 25-Nov-12 23:07:39

Hmm, so you are saying that option one should be any one out of history, geography, RE or an arts subject - ie that it shouldn't be compulsory to do a humanity?

I'm not sure I agree with that, the humanities are pretty important IMO. (I do agree that RE should be part of the humanities list, but that's a separate point.)

FontSnob Sun 25-Nov-12 23:38:31

I can't say any more than that. If you can't see that our rich history in art, architecture, music and fashion, the things that were celebrated at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, put together by Danny Boyle. The things that the uk is great at (these are the people who are supporting the petition.), Shakespeare wrote plays that still are acted with costumes and told through music. If ypu and other people dont believe that those things are as important as our political history or the history of our wars, then I don't know what else to say.

FontSnob Mon 26-Nov-12 00:46:45

I can't sleep for thinking about this. Visiting the British Museum in London you will see exactly what I'm talking about. In every exhibit in there you will see art. From every time period in every country. From ancient Egypt to an exhibition by Grayson Perry. How can you not see that as equal in importance to the rest of our history????

Bride1 Mon 26-Nov-12 01:01:46

Gove isn't saying pupils can't take creative subjects. That is your school's response. Their issue, not his. Latin is a very valued academic subject. I am glad both my children are taking it. My daughter also chose drama. So what is the problem? She has her Ebac and the creative subjects.

youngermother1 Mon 26-Nov-12 01:09:12

The Ebacc covers 5 subjects (depending on how you define science). Most pupils take 9+ subjects. How is EBACC limiting their choice?

brdgrl Mon 26-Nov-12 01:16:46

You are right of course, fontsnob. Signed.

FontSnob Mon 26-Nov-12 16:46:01

No Bride Gove is not saying not to teach them, he is however saying that by 2014 all schools/acadamies will be judged by the Ebacc results. But as a result of all of the things that he is NOT saying (did you know, in his white paper, music was the only creative subject mentioned and then only 3 times - says something of the way he values the arts) Schools (not just ours 17% of them across the UK have dropped art alone) are tightening their curriculum and taking away choice.

Thats great that your children get to study Latin, great that they have the choice to study what they want. I am not in anyway saying don't include it... i'm saying, don't give it more importance than other, vocational subjects. Don't close down kids pathways to careers in the arts (and all the other subjects that are being sidelined, business studies and ICT too for e.g.). Don't turn the arts into a career for the middle and upper classes only, because that is going to be another consequence of what is happening.

Don't believe that Gove has the best ideas for education and take his word for everything, don't just believe that because it isn't happening in your area then you're alright.

This should NOT be alowed to happen ANYWHERE, in any school.

Make the Ebacc comprehensive, wide of choice (for all), make it something that makes us stand out from the rest of the world, that makes good and positive changes for education. Don't make it another set of statistics to flog schools with and make them put all of their teaching time into a few core subjects that don't cater to the needs of the many. You need to see the reality, not argue the uninformed arguement 'well...Gove say's"

youngermum some schools (as ours plans to) are giving timetable time to the ebacc subjects above what they get now, thus actually cutting down the amount of time in the timetable avaliable. Keep in mind also that students aren't also being made to choose only 1 subject from the arts but that choice also includes, pe, business studies, ICT. So a student who wanted to go into business at uni level couldnt choose bus studies and ICT for eg.

Again, I am not saying it is all schools, but to see it as a problem in only a couple is very wrong and very naive and this is only the start.

FontSnob Mon 26-Nov-12 16:48:27

bride you also need to see things beyond how great your daughters choices were. That isn't going to be the case for every child in the UK and more people should be pissed off about that. The 'i'm alright jack' attitude has to shift (what would she have done if she wanted to study art and Graphics alongside drama?).

Abra1d Mon 26-Nov-12 18:45:08

She would have been able to.

The problem seems to lie with the school, not the curriculum. Schools have, what, four or five additional subject choices to fill and if they're not providing subjects parents and children want, then that's for the parents and children to make a fuss.

Or they need to organize themselves with other schools in the area and offer options in a different site.

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