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20 November 2012, 11:25 | Updated: 20 November 2012, 11:59
Lloyd Webber, Sir Simon Rattle, Nicola Benedetti, Sir Mark Elder and more have added their names to a letter concerning the marginalisation of creative subjects in the new English Baccalaureate qualification.
Julian Lloyd Webber and a host of other music industry figures have voiced their concern over the lack of arts subjects incorporated into the English baccalaureate qualification. The EBacc will replace the standard GCSE qualification that 16-year-olds take.
In a letter to The Times newspaper, the cellist expresses his concerns about the potential lack of arts subjects on offer: "We know of the importance of creative subjects in school, in teaching, and in learning and the current Key Stage 4 proposals (and existing league table) are putting much of this at risk."
He added: "We must continue to ensure that children receive a full rounded education so that they can develop their talents."
The International Baccalaureate (on which the EBacc is based) includes the facility for students to take modules in creative subjects like music, dance, drama and art, but those subjects (while available) do not count towards the current model for the EBacc.
Other musicians adding their name to the letter include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Andrew Davis and Sir Colin Davis, violinists Nicola Benedetti and Tasmin Little, and cellist Steven Isserlis.
A recent review of cultural education by Darren Henley also called for arts subjects to be made available as a sixth option for the EBacc. A Department for Education spokesman commented: "The English Baccalaureate does not prevent any school from offering GCSEs in art and design, music, dance and drama. We have been clear that pupils should take GCSEs that are right for them."