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EBacc reforms will damage engineering

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

2 min read Partner content

The Government has been warned the introduction of its new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which will result in a “narrowly prescribed” curriculum is “incredibly short sighted”.

The proposed EBacc, which will be debated in Parliament later today, is expected to become compulsory in schools across England and will mean students take a minimum of seven or eight narrowly defined subjects.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) urged the Government to reconsider the move in order to make sure the introduction does not affect the number of engineers, which they claimed would present a “genuine risk to the economy”.

The organisation warned that the UK is already expecting a shortfall of 2 million engineers over the next decade and removing subjects from the curriculum would result in further problems.

Paul Davies, Head of Policy at IET, said: “While it’s great to see a big focus on science subjects in the new EBacc, we are concerned that the plans to narrowly prescribe the curriculum in this way will effectively drive subjects like design & technology (D&T), as well as creative and artistic subjects, from the curriculum.

“Given engineering currently accounts for 27% of our total GDP, and we are expecting a shortfall of nearly 2 million engineers over the next decade, removing subjects like D&T from the curriculum is incredibly short sighted. D&T is vital for engaging young people in the creative and problem fixing side of engineering.

“If they don’t have this opportunity at school, it is inevitable we will produce fewer engineers, which represents a genuine risk to our economy.

“We are calling for the Government to reconsider the EBacc to ensure its introduction doesn’t result in a decline in the number of engineers in the UK.”

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