Well I, like many other educationalists breathed a sigh of relief at the back down on the new eBac.
For me, as an arts person, the narrowing of the curriculum and the focus away from the arts was a horrible thing, mainly as it was stifling creativity, by reducing the chances that young people had to experience the arts. As our creative industries sector is one of the few which is actually growing it seems counter intuitive to limit access to the arts, not to mention all of the transferable skills which are developed through working with the arts.
The other great thing which has come about as a result of this change of plans is that there will be a new league table on ‘best 8’ subjects for each student, which could include art, music etc.
However, the format of the GCSEs will still change, to exams at the end of the two years, rather than smaller modules. For someone like me who gets paralysed with fear by exams, this is not good news. I passed out in one GCSE exam and then years later when doing my motorbike test I spent all my time waiting for the examiner in the toilet being sick. As for my flute exam, just a year ago, I barely scraped a pass, even though I was playing at distinction level before I went into the room. I really don’t cope well with exams and I suspect there are many like me.
I don’t think the arts should celebrate just yet, we are still far down on the list of priorites, but I am very glad to see the back of these. For a more indepth discussion check out TES.