To leave art and design (the arts) out of the e-bac is profoundly wrong. It is a long standing truism that if you want to know what is valued in education, look at what is assessed. It is facile to say children can still study the arts, the e-bac will change what is valued, gradually, but inexorably and it will do harm. It is not so much because it is likely to demote the arts subjects and unbalance the curriculum. The real damage will be because some children only find their real skills, inclinations, aspirations and talents through their engagement in the arts and in creative activities. They may, or may not, become artists, designers or musicians, that is not the point, but they will be awakened to their real talents and this will shape their lives. By sidelining the arts and design many children will never find themselves because they will believe that it is only academic skills and achievements that are valued and worthwhile. Wrong, profoundly wrong.
Ken Robinson, as always, expresses it well. Here is clip from the end of his famous TED talk explaining the importance of finding your talent.