Shane Global (CC BY 2.0)
The number of young people taking drama and music at GCSE has fallen over the past five years. According to the latest statistics from the Joint Council for Qualifications, arts subjects appear to be falling in popularity while more pupils are choosing to take subjects included in the Government’s English Baccalaureate (EBacc).
Between 2010 and 2015 there has been a 13% drop in the number of young people taking drama at GCSE and a 6% drop in the number taking music. While there has been an overall drop of around 2% in the number of GCSEs taken during this period, the numbers taking geography and history have soared by 17% and 12% respectively.
The EBacc is a set of subjects that secondary schools must include in their GCSE curriculum, including English, maths, science, a language and history or geography. First introduced in 2010 as a performance measure for secondary schools, it is now to be made compulsory. Earlier this year Schools Minister Nick Gibb brushed away concerns that the EBacc would sideline arts subjects, offering “no apology” as “the curriculum always involves trade-offs”.