News

Further decline in arts GCSE and A Level entries

23 August 2018

-10% decline in arts subject GCSE entries 2017 to 2018

-35% decline in arts subject GCSE entries 2010 to 2018

Continuing decline in arts A Levels: entries down -24% since 2010

Patterns in GCSE and A Level entries 2010 to 2018

Between 2010 to 2018 in England there was a decline of -35% in the number of arts GCSE* entries from 673,739 in 2010 to 435,784 in 2018**.

2016 to 2017 there was a decline of -9% in arts GCSE entries. This year’s figures continue the trend with a further drop of -10% 2017 to 2018.

This year’s decline of -10% in arts entries is set against a decline in the number of students in year 11 (the year students take GCSEs) in England of -1%. Since 2010 the year 11 cohort has fallen by -9%***.

England only results

2010

2017

2018

 

% change 2010 to 2018

% change 2017 to 2018

Art and Design subjects

172,504

162,348

166,325

 

-4%

+2%

Dance****

15,884

9,401

8,724

 

-45%

-7%

Design and Technology

270,401

153,929

116,774

 

-57%

-24%

Drama

81,592

61,703

57,987

 

-29%

-6%

Media/Film/TV Studies

63,808

44,865

41,832

 

-34%

-7%

Music

46,045

38,376

35,531

 

-23%

-7%

Performing/expressive arts

23,505

14,704

8,611

 

-63%

-41%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

673,739

532,525

435,784

 

-35%

-10%

GCSE entries in Arts subjects 2010 and 2013 to 2018

England only

2010

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Art and Design subjects

172,504

 

167,894

177,206

181,117

170,114

162,348

166,325

Dance

15,884

 

11,856

12,200

11,865

10,762

9,401

8,724

Design and Technology

270,401

 

206,044

200,133

192,183

173,532

153,929

116,774

Drama

81,592

 

70,402

71,399

71,435

68,171

61,703

57,987

Media/Film/TV Studies

63,808

 

55,005

59,536

58,496

51,209

44,865

41,832

Music

46,045

 

41,580

42,668

43,667

41,865

38,376

35,531

Performing/ expressive arts

23,505

 

19,188

19,607

19,563

17,676

14,704

8,611

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

673,739

 

571,969

582,749

578,326

533,329

485,326

435,784

History and Geography 

In comparison to arts subjects the English Baccalaureate subjects History and Geography continue to see rises in entries.

England only results

2010

2017

2018

 

% change 2010 to 2018

% change 2017 to 2018

Georgraphy

175,347

231,297

242,268

 

+38%

+5%

History

200,992

239,027

244,401

 

+22%

+2%

 A Level entries England only

Following the pattern of fewer arts GCSE entries A Level entries are also falling. Particularly hard hit are Performing and Expressive Arts and Dance, with declines in the last year alone of -26% and -10%. 

For many arts subjects it is the case that if students have not studied the subject at GCSE they cannot progress on to study it at A Level.

England only results

2010

2017

2018

 

% change 2010 to 2018

% change 2017 to 2018

Art and Design subjects

42,577

40,470

39,848

 

-6%

-2%

Dance

2,261

1,455

1,316

 

-42%

-10%

Design and Technology

16,519

10,657

9,703

 

-41%

-9%

Drama

15,144

10,751

10,159

 

-33%

-6%

Media/Film/TV studies

31,032

24450

22,968

 

-26%

-6%

Music

8,790

5,610

5,440

 

-38%

-3%

Performing/expressive arts

3,666

1,744

1,282

 

-65%

-26%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

119,989

95,137

90,716

 

-24%

-5%

A Level entries in Arts subjects

England only

2010

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Art and Design subjects

42,577

 

40,878

41,812

41,712

39,962

40,470

39,848

Dance

2,261

 

1,979

1,892

1,875

1,582

1,455

1,316

Design and Technology

16,519

 

13,856

12,016

11,491

10,662

10,657

9,703

Drama

15,144

 

12,564

11,878

11,963

11,210

10,751

10,159

Media/Film/TV studies

31,032

 

26,848

26,116

26,036

25,516

24,450

22,968

Music

8,790

 

7,793

7,353

6,820

6,194

5,610

5,440

Performing/expressive arts

3,666

 

2,740

2,526

2,468

2,017

1,744

1,282

Total

119,989

 

106,658

103,593

102,365

97,143

95,137

90,716

Download article as a pdf.

Notes

*We define arts subjects as Art and Design, Dance, Design and Technology, Drama, Media/Film/TV Studies, Music and Performing/expressive arts

**GCSE and A Level entry numbers are from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) annual results tables.

***All children in year 11 in state schools and all children turning 16 during the school year in independent schools in England. Cohort numbers are taken from the Department for Education Schools, Pupils and their characteristics statistics.  

****Dance GCSE and A Level numbers are from AQA and are for all of the UK. JCQ only reports Dance GCSE numbers within the PE results.

 

Image: Bonnie Parsons, Southbank Centre Beyoncé Dance class

2 Replies to "Further decline in arts GCSE and A Level entries"

  1. Interesting . So if since 2010 the year 11 cohort has fallen by -9%, whilst the absolute numbers may have dropped how do the numbers work as a percentage of the cohort?

  2. In 2010 the entries were 107% of the cohort (631,920 children in year 11 or equivalent year in independent schools)
    In 2018 the entries were 76% of the cohort (572,851 children in year 11 or equivalent year in independent schools)

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