Our local primary schools are amongst the best in the country with virtually all being assessed as good or outstanding. That’s a tribute to the efforts of staff, parents, governors and of course pupils themselves. But as pupils progress through their schooling there’s always been a tension between outcomes in terms of results and whether students at secondary school enjoy learning and have the opportunity to be creative.
The Government intends to introduce an English Baccalaureate as a measure which recognises where pupils have secured a C grade or better at GCSE in English, Maths, History or Geography, the sciences and a language. There is concern however that the proposal will squeeze out creative subjects and risks pushing art, drama, music and design out of schools. Already we’re seeing a drop in pupils taking music and drama to GCSE.
Critics argue that by placing the curriculum in a straightjacket, rather than driving up standards the attainment gap between poorer children and their peers will widen. The parents of some pupils may be able to buy the experience for their children outside of school, for others it will be beyond reach. For employers there may be evidence of literacy or numeracy but not much about the wider person. Many people on our local community care passionately about education. If you want your voice to be heard you can give your views on the Department for Education consultation website before 29th January.