Core academic studies anyone? English both language and literature, Maths, assuredly. After that? Well the three sciences, biology, physics, chemistry, then I suppose a choice of history, geography, perhaps I.T studies and some form of foreign language. I wouldn’t however think to include ‘dance’ in this list, nor would I expect many others except save dance companies. Yet because the soon to be introduced European Baccalaureate exam does not include dance as a core study dance companies are up in arms…
Dance company Sadler’s Wells has claimed government plans to leave dance out of the new EBacc syllabus will be “deeply damaging” to the art form.
The EBacc certificate, set to replace some GCSEs from 2015, will focus only on core academic subjects.
Sadler’s Wells chief executive and artistic director Alistair Spalding said the plans were “the most serious threat” dance has recently faced.
But he said he was hopeful there would be a U-turn by the government.
He and several other executives from major arts companies, including the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet, have written to education secretary Michael Gove asking him to reconsider.
The GCSE exam in England is going to be replaced in core subjects by the new qualification called the English Baccalaureate Certificate – EBacc or English Bacc for short.
Dance is now second only to football as the most popular activity amongst school children and ranks first among girls.” Alistair Spalding, chief executive and artistic director, Sadler’s Wells
A Department of Education spokeswoman said: “Other subjects are, of course, valuable and pupils will continue to study them – the EBacc will not prevent any school from offering qualifications in dance, art, drama or music.”
Whilst I realise you can make a career out of being a dancer, artist, actor or musician, none of those subjects would appear to me to be core studies, more in the nature of pastimes and hobbies. Nor do I see the need for them to be included in the Baccalaureate system, which also appears to be the governments view too which admittedly is unusual for me, but a stopped clock etc. etc.
What the dance companies appear to be afraid of is that a non academic subject will be dropped like a hot potato by schools who wishing to remain high up in the academic league tables and that the schools will revert back to core subjects. Nor could I blame the schools for doing so, after all they’ll be judged by their results, not by their dancing skills.
How or why dance managed to get into a schools curriculum is beyond me, it certainly wasn’t a subject taught at my school and if we wanted to study music we had to apply to another school which taught it to O Level standard.
I suspect Saddlers Wells are trying it on here to recruit dancers who have a little bit of experience coming out of school. But academically most pupils studying it wont be doing it as anything other than a pastime, not as a career choice. Hopefully Gove won’t change his mind over this.