Results show the fall in candidates taking art and design A level has continued. According to Ofqual the total numbers of students taking art and design this year fell by -1.6%, a total of 39.2K candidates completed the exam; in 2018 candidate numbers totalled 39.5K.
The number of students achieving A*/A has increased by +0.1% rising to 27.7%. In 2018, 27.5% of students achieved this grade and in 2017, 27.2% achieved these grades.
Ofqual's subject data and graphs for England can be found here.
AS level: There has been a 32% fall in the number of candidates taking AS level art and design. This is in line with the fall seen in other subjects.
The gender gap: The achievement gap between boys and girls has grown again.
For example an 'A' grade GCEs was achieved by
2018 by 22.8% (m) and 29.2% (f) - a difference of 6.4%
2019 by 21.7% (m) and 29.8% (f) - a difference of 8.1%
A very slight increase in the number of boys taking art and design GCE and a slight decrease in girls taking art and design has been recorded this year:
In 2018 there was 29,930 female candidates, in 2019 there were 29,105
In 2018 there were 9,915 male candidates, in 2019 there was 10,115. However the ratio of boys to girls studying art and design remains at nearly 1:3.
Other arts and design subjects: Performing and Expressive Arts have decreased by -16.9%; Drama by -9.2%; Design & Technology -5.1%; Music by -6.4%.
JCQ data for all subjects is also available here
NSEAD wishes to congratulate all the young people who have studied and completed exams this year. We hope you have achieved or exceed your predicted grades and that your next steps into education and careers are now possible. Today is a day we also wish to celebrate and thank all the dedicated teachers whose hard work and expertise have helped thousands of young people and learners achieve in art, craft and design.
However, if you have any specific and evidenced concerns about marking variability, or if you have positive experiences to share, we would like to hear from you. An NSEAD members' Special Interest Group (SIG), for examinations in art and design, is currently in development. The SIG will address our members' feedback regarding moderation and changes to examination assessment. If you would like to share your evidence with NSEAD to help us identify a suite of recommendations to improve exam board procedures, please contact NSEAD with your evidence.
Alongside schools, universities and industry leaders we also call upon the government to ensure that arts and design subjects across all phases, from schools to universities, are valued. Art, craft and design in education contributes and provides access to skills and knowledge, culture and creative careers. We believe a broad and balanced curriculum should be an entitlement and not a privilege. We want all children and young people, no matter where they live or where they study, to benefit from art and design, creative and cultural learning.
To this end NSEAD is a signatory in an open letter to Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education, identifying the falling numbers of candidates studying A levels in arts subjects and calling upon the Government to urgently resource schools, dismantle or improve the Ebacc and to offer young people better informed careers advice.