UK: Last art history A-level axed after Michael Gove cull of 'soft' subjects

Historians in the News
tags: art history



Related Link Goodbye art history A-level, you served the elite well

The last exam board in England offering art history A-level will drop the subject from 2018, marking the latest in a cull of perceived “soft” subjects following the curriculum changes begun by the former education secretary Michael Gove.

The exam board, AQA, which had described history of art as a subject leading students to “an appreciation of some significant themes, from classical Greece to the end of the 20th century” confirmed that students taking AS exams in the subject next year and A-levels in 2018 will be the last of their kind.

The Association of Art Historians called the decision a significant loss of access to a range of cultures, artefacts and ideas for young people. 

It added: “Being able to signpost educational opportunities such as an A-level in art history to students who may never have considered this an opportunity, forms a significant part of our campaign work with partners across west Yorkshire, Bristol, Brighton and Sussex. The loss of that A-level means that for many prospective students of the subject that door will close and future opportunities [will be] lost.”

A spokeswoman from AQA said the decision to drop the subject had been difficult. “Our number one priority is making sure every student gets the result they deserve – and the complex and specialist nature of the exams in this subject creates too many risks on that front. That’s why we’ve taken the difficult decision not to continue our work creating a new AS and A-level. ...




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