Provisional Art and Design 2017 exam entries continue to decline

Provisional summer 2017 exam entries published by Ofqual indicate GCSE and AS-level art and design subjects continue to decline.

The report, which summarises exam entries for April 2017, show GCSE exam entries overall have increased by 3% (from 4,932,600 in 2016 to 5,098,050 in 2017). EBacc subjects have increased by 9%. This contrasts with an 11% fall in entries for non-Ebacc subjects.

Art and Design GCSE: The fall in art and design entries was 7,450 (a 4% fall). For non-Ebacc subjects, this represents the sixth biggest decrease in actual GCSE entry numbers. Design and Technology GCSE entries fell by 18,850 (11%).

The Ofqual report states: ‘This overall decline indicates that centres are focussing more on the delivery of EBacc subjects than those subjects which do not count towards the EBacc. Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures are also likely to be influencing these patterns as their calculation can only include a maximum of three non-EBacc GCSEs.’

AS-level: Overall entries for all AS-level subjects fell by 42% from 1,143,950 in 2016 to 660,200 in 2017. However, the percentage decrease (52%) in art and design entries was much higher. Actual numbers decreased from 39,900 to 19,100.

A-level: Overall entries for all A-level subjects remained broadly stable, an increase of less than 1% from 785,900 in 2016 to 786,050 in 2017. A-level art and design subjects have also seen a modest increase from 40,350 in 2016 to 41,150 in 2017 (a 2% increase). However entry numbers have been falling year on year since 2010, and in the last seven years since 2010, there has been an overall decrease of 11%.

Lesley Butterworth, General Secretary NSEAD, says: ‘The corrosive Ebacc policies are continuing to impact on art and design exam entries. Ofqual's newly published figures confirm the findings of the NSEAD Survey Report 2015-16.

The Society will be continuing to ask the Secretary of State for Education to share findings of the yet to be published E-baccalaureate consultation. We continue to recommend to the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP that the Government reviews the E-Bacc performance measure, in order to ensure all students are given access a broad, balanced, fit for purpose, inclusive curriculum.’

Read the full Ofqual report here.

15 Jun 2017