Published on October 22, 2012 | by Morgana Edwards


Art education reforms to ‘deprive a generation’

Sir Nicholas Serota

Sir Nicholas Serota is concerned over art reforms [Manuel Vason]

Tate Director, Sir Nicholas Serota, warned that Britain could lose its ‘leading edge in creativity’, after the Government announced plans to remove art from the core list of subjects under the new English Baccalaureate Certificates.

The EBaccs – which will replace GCSE exams – will also omit drama, music and design from the main subject list.

Serota said that marginalising these subjects would “deprive a generation of the cultural skills they will need”.

Courtney Griffiths, Education Officer, for the UAL Students’ Union said: “The UK is renowned for providing quality arts education throughout every stage of developmental learning.”


“One of the things that make education in the UK so enviable, is its long-lasting commitment to the arts. The thought that young people won’t get this opportunity is horrifying.

“At this critical point in their lives, developments in arts education for young people should be nurtured, not damaged, by the government,” Griffiths added.

20 year-old Pepe Lowe, studying BA Textiles at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, is currently writing her dissertation on the importance of art in child development.

She said: “This is ridiculous. I studied double art and design at GCSE. It was the only subject I enjoyed and could relate to.”

“Careers advisors aren’t going to tell kids to be artists and that acts as a deterrent, this decision by the government might spook parents as well.

Pepe Lowe, BA Textiles student “This is ridiculous. I studied double art and design at GCSE. It was the only subject I enjoyed and could relate to.”


“They only want the best for their kids and if art is not given the status it deserves then they will, understandably, be less likely to encourage creatively-gifted kids to take on the subject.”

Teaching unions have also expressed concerns, stating the quality of teaching in arts subjects will be diminished as a consequence of their lesser status in the curriculum.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the UK largest teachers union, the NASUWT said: “The Government will have to work hard to ensure that these reforms are not the final nail in the coffin for the provision of a broad and balanced curriculum.”

“Parents will continue to want to support a system which supports excellence for all in music, drama, RE, PE, ICT and other creative subjects.

“This is a key legacy at a time when the country has achieved major sporting and artistic success.”


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