Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A letter to Michael Gove

Mr Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Education
House of Commons

Dear Mr Gove

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the English Baccalaureate

This week in Parliament, in response to a question from Fiona MacTaggart MP about the widespread concerns around the English Baccalaureate, you said:

I had the opportunity to speak to representatives of a variety of arts organisations today. They applauded the work we have done.

Please would you let me know which arts organisations you spoke to, and what, specifically, they said to you which led you to draw this conclusion?

It may interest you to know that my own arts organisation, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, does not applaud the work you have been doing. On the contrary – we are alarmed by your proposals. We believe they strongly disincentivise schools to offer arts subjects at all.

I enclose a press release outlining our concerns, which has been widely circulated to journalists this week. We will also be submitting this statement to the EBacc consultation.

Both I and my union would urge you to re-think your current plans. It is not enough to issue platitudes about the value of the arts. You need to back this up with a practical plan to prove your commitment – one which protects the future of arts subjects in schools as unequivocally as the current plan undermines them.

Yours sincerely,

Fin Kennedy
Theatre Committee, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain

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