On 3 July 2017, The Earl of Clancarty, APPG for Art, Craft and Design in Education, asked a question in the House of Lords regarding the consultation Implementing the English Baccalaureate which closed on 29 January 2016.
The Earl identified the recent and continued decline in arts GCSE take up:
'My Lords, is this long delay because the overwhelming public response voices the concern that the EBacc excludes art and design subjects? I ask the Minister not to continue to justify the EBacc with the New Schools Network stats on the percentage of pupils taking one arts GCSE, which represented a shift away from other qualifications, but instead to look at the latest Ofqual figures revealing - two years in a row - a hugely alarming 8% decline in the take-up of arts GCSEs. The EBacc must be scrapped.'
In response Lord Nash sought to justify the fall in GCSE arts subjects. He stated: 'The decline in the subjects to which the noble Earl refers has been more than made up for in the substantial increase in the number of pupils taking IT and the now almost 70,000 pupils taking computing.'
In reply Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall queried that the rise in computing GCSEs can justify the fall in creative subjects: 'My Lords, can the Minister please explain the remarks he made in answer to the noble Earl, Lord Clancarty? I believe he said that the loss of entries into the creative subjects is more than made up for by an increased number of entries for IT and computer science. Can he explain in what way those things compensate for one another?'
Lord Nash was able only to explain his reply by stating that the rise in computer science and IT entries compensated for the decline in arts GCSE 'numerically'.