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Russell Group launch a new website which removes the list of so-called 'facilitating' subjects


A new website launched by the Russell Group, has removed the list of so-called ‘facilitating’ or ‘preferred’ A level subjects. Instead the website, which takes its name from its predecessor and is called ‘Informed Choices’ provides interactive advice, that tests lots of combinations, and includes arts and design. Essentially and helpfully, it signposts a greater range of subject options which will allow for more rounded subject selection.

Since its inception in 2011, NSEAD has called for changes to the Russell Group's former list, and the Society welcomes the new website. It will provide young people with equitable and informed subject advice, signposting the value arts subjects as well as a broad and well-rounded education.

NSEAD and CHEAD (The Council for Higher Education in Art and Design) have long-since called for a change in the list. Our members have persistently confirmed that an unintended consequence of listing subjects as 'facilitating', and others therefore as non-facilitating, had resulted in a narrowing of 14-16 and post-16 curriculum subject provision. This change will have a very positive impact on access and entitlement to arts and cultural learning and we are very pleased to see this fit for purpose, future facing and updated guidance.

Michele Gregson, general secretary of NSEAD, has welcomed the news: ‘From its inception the previous Russell Group list had a pernicious and damaging impact on subject choices. In turn, this has reduced provision and for some young people access to arts and cultural learning. The Society believes that a broad and balanced curriculum should be an entitlement for every learner. We welcome the new resource, which allow young people, teachers, schools and career advisors to access and give unbiased, and indeed informed advice as learners progress into higher education.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England and NSEAD patron, is has said he is “delighted” to see guidance had been updated “to reflect the full variety of subjects that form a well-rounded education”.

Informed Choices website here

23 May 2019