Some of those in the creative industries who have opposed plans to overhaul secondary school education in the UK have reacted enthusiastically to news that the Government had abandoned plans to scrap GCSEs in key subjects in England and replace them with English Baccalaureate Certificates.
Many organisations including the Design Council and British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) had voiced concerns that the new Ebacc examinations, which would have prioritised traditional academic subjects such as maths and English, would marginalise creative and vocational subjects such as art and design.
John Mathers, chief executive of the design council said the news was 'a major breakthrough for the campaign to Include Design in the Ebacc.
Mathers said: 'Gove has listened to the designers and design businesses who asked the government to reconsider the omission of creative subjects from the EBacc. This is good news for the UK and our ability to compete globally.'
Sue Timney of the BIID said: 'I am pleased to hear that proposals to replace GCSEs with the English Baccalaureate qualification have been dropped. It would have been a travesty if the EBacc had gone ahead without a sixth pillar for creative education; however there is still work to be done.'
In a speech to the House of Commons on Thursday education secretary Michael Gove said: 'My idea that we end the competition between exam boards to offer GCSEs in core academic qualifications and have just one - wholly new - exam in each subject was just one reform too many at this time.'
Luminaries of the design and art worlds, including D&AD president and designer Neville Brody, Apple's Jonathan Ive, designer Terence Conran and architect Norman Foster, have been vocal in this opposition to the education reforms.
The Design Council and BIID both supported the Bacc for the Future campaign, which has been petitioning the Government to keep creative subjects in the curriculum.
Mathers also sounded a note of caution, saying, 'In response to today's launch of consultations on the new draft National Curriculum by Department for Education, we feel the new programmes of study for Design & Technology and Art & Design do not go far enough in developing the current curricula to be one of ambition, innovation and relevance. We urge everyone to respond to the consultation on this potentially retrograde proposal for design in our schools.'