Britain’s Leading Artists Protest Against The Decline Of Art In Schools




Over 100 artists, including Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, Antony Gormley, Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor, Grayson Perry, Sam Taylor Johnson, Mark Wallinger and Rachel Whiteread, have written to The Guardian to protest against the decline of art in schools.

We are writing to express our grave concern about the exclusion of arts and creative subjects from the new English Baccalaureate, or EBacc, for secondary school children, which we believe will seriously damage the future of many young people in this country.

This places one of our largest and most successful global industries at risk, one worth £92bn a year to the UK economy

There is compelling evidence that the study of creative subjects is in decline in state schools and that entries to arts and creative subjects have fallen to their lowest level in a decade.

This means that young people are being deprived of opportunities for personal development in the fields of self-expression, sociability, imagination and creativity.

A consequence of this is that it places one of our largest and most successful global industries at risk, one worth £92 billion a year to the UK economy. That is bigger than oil, gas, life sciences, automotive and aeronautics combined. This is also at a time when economic growth is of critical importance to the UK’s international position.

A good education, and an education that will be fit for the 21stcentury, must be broad and balanced. The EBacc in its current form is not the way to achieve this.

We call on the government to reverse their decision to blindly press ahead with the EBacc, regardless of the consultation responses and in the face of overwhelming evidence against this policy.

If we care about social mobility, wellbeing and economic growth – and if we want our creative industries to continue to flourish – we need to rebalance our education system so that the arts are valued just as much as other subjects.

Every child should have equal access to the benefits that the arts and culture bring not just a privileged few.

The letter is signed by: Norman Ackroyd. Hurvin Anderson, John Akomfrah, Fiona Banner, David Batchelor, Phyllida Barlow, Nikki Bell, Zarina Bhimji, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Brian Clarke, Hannah Collins, Susan Collins, Celine Condorelli, Michael Craig-Martin, Deborah Curtis, Dexter Dalwood, Shezad Dawood, Adam Dant, Grenville Davey, Cathy de Monchaux, Edmund de Waal, Richard Deacon, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Tracey Emin, Rose English, Doug Fishbone, Anya Gallaccio, Ryan Gander, Dryden Goodwin, Liam Gillick, Antony Gormley, Nicola Green, Mathew Hale, Anne Hardy, Alex Hartley, Mona Hatoum, Tim Head, Susanna Heron, Lubaina Himid, Shirazeh Houshiary, Gary Hume, Callum Innes, Koo Jeong A, Isaac Julien, Anish Kapoor, Phillip King, Tania Kovats, Henry Krokatsis, Michael Landy, Ben Langlands, Christopher Le Brun, Liliane Lijn, Jeff McMillan, Lisa Milroy, Haroon Mirza, Goshka Macuga, Mike Nelson, Hayley Newman, Paul Noble, Chris Orr, Cornelia Parker, Vicken Parsons, Eddie Peake, Simon Periton, Grayson Perry, Susan Philipsz, Amalia Pica, Sarah Pickering, Kathy Prendergast, Charlotte Prodger, David Remfry, Liz Rideal, Ben Rivers, Eva Rothschild, Jenny Saville, Conrad Shawcross, David Shrigley, Bob and Roberta Smith, Yinka Shonibare, Sam Taylor Johnson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gavin Turk, Keith Tyson, Jessica Voorsanger, Barbara Walker, Mark Wallinger, Rebecca Warren, Gillian Wearing, Sue Webster, Richard Wentworth, Rachel Whiteread, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Alison Wilding, Jane Wilson, Louise Wilson, Richard Wilson, Sarah Woodfine, Bill Woodrow, Richard Wright, Rose Wylie, Catherine Yass, Carey Young and

Letter In Full:

We are writing to express our grave concern about the exclusion of arts and creative subjects from the new English baccalaureate, or Ebacc, for secondary school children, which we believe will seriously damage the future of many young people in this country. There is compelling evidence that the study of creative subjects is in decline in state schools and that entries to arts and creative subjects have fallen to their lowest level in a decade. Young people are being deprived of opportunities for personal development in the fields of self-expression, sociability, imagination and creativity.

This places one of our largest and most successful global industries at risk, one worth £92bn a year to the UK economy. That is bigger than oil, gas, life sciences, automotive and aeronautics combined. This is at a time when economic growth is of critical importance to the UK’s international position. A good education fit for the 21st century, must be broad and balanced. The Ebacc in its current form is not the way to achieve this.

We call on the government to reverse its decision to blindly press ahead with the Ebacc, regardless of the consultation responses and in the face of overwhelming evidence against this policy. If we care about social mobility, wellbeing and economic growth – and if we want our creative industries to continue to flourish – we need to rebalance our education system so that the arts are valued just as much as other subjects. Every child should have equal access to the benefits that the arts and culture bring, not just a privileged few.

Further Reading

The full text of the letter is published here and copied Here:


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