Caleb Roenigk | Flickr

Caleb Roenigk | Flickr

A petition has been started after Government plans to axe Creative Writing A-Level, Uzochi Ejimofor reports.

The Creative Writing A-level that was only introduced in 2013 will be axed, the Government has revealed. The last examination for the subject will take place in 2018. The Department for Education (DFE) is behind the decision to stop this A-level. They say there is too much overlap with English Literature and English language and the subject is too skills based rather than knowledge based.

This decision has been a big blow to the many supporters of the A-level. It has prompted the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) to start a petition. The petition urges Nick Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, to rethink the closure. The petition has been signed by over 6,000 people. NAWE aim to get 7,500 signatures.

In their press release NAWE said:

“to argue that studying creative writing is the same as studying English is misguided. At a time when students with communication skills, flexibility and creativity are in high demand in the workplace, this decision does not make any sense”.

Many advocates, which consists of students, teachers and universities’, are shocked that the value of the creative writing A-level is not recognised by ministers. They believe education should encourage young people to be imaginative and argue that the DFE does not understand how academically rigorous the A-level is. Others say that stopping the A-level will be a “waste of talent” and will “lead to a society only interested in what it can produce for economic ends”.

Barbara Bleiman, English and Media Centre Co-ordinator, said:

“The DFE claims there is not enough difference between creative writing and English Literature but that’s like saying there is no difference between history and ancient history or classical civilisation, or Latin and Greek, all of which are GCSE’s”.

Student Alexia Kirov described the A-level as “the best decision of my academic life”. Her letter was posted on the English and Media Centre’s blog. She answered the question many people think; why can’t students just write in their spare time. She said it is motivating to write creatively with fellow peers especially when you give each other constructive feedback. Poets also come to the lessons and give students feedback, something they would not benefit from if the subject was not offered. Kirov described the AS exam: “Students have to write two non-fiction pieces e.g. from a set of journalist notes you will have to craft a restaurant review- 300 words.” She continues, “The exam provides a much better preparation for writing in the real world of journalism than writing an essay on Frankenstein in an hour does; this A-level has a definite practical application, surely one of the best defences of the subject there is.”

AQA, the exam board who offer the A-Level say “we appreciate this is disappointing for teachers and students, but we’ll do our best to respond to their needs through our other qualifications”.

You can view and sign or comment on the petition .