New Schools Network recently published a report on arts education. The Two Cultures: Do schools have to choose between the EBacc and the arts? explores the impact that recent Key Stage 4 reforms have had on GCSE study in England's state-funded schools. Though it was found that England's best schools have been able to successfully combine a strong focus on core academic subjects with an excellent arts education, it was also uncovered a worrying trend with a number of schools reducing their expenditure in this area.
The report calls on the Government to do more to publicise their commitment to arts in England's schools, asking that they improve their messaging around the importance of a good arts education and the compatibility of the EBacc with artistic subjects.
However, Government support is not enough though. New Schools Network are calling for more arts organisations to get directly involved in setting up new free schools that combine high expectations in a core of academic subjects with a strong focus on the arts. Schools like Cobham Free School in Surrey which has formed a close partnership with the nearby Yehudi Menuhin School to offer every pupil specialist music teaching from the age of five.
Find out more about the Bacc for the Future Campaign here.