Film Studies in 2018+
• Dwindling numbers of students taking GCSE and AS/A Level ﬁlm as option subjects.
• Schools, Colleges and Sixth Forms not oﬀering GCSE and AS/A Level ﬁlm as option subjects.
• Schools, Colleges and Sixth Forms removing GCSE and AS/A Level ﬁlm as option subjects.
• Schools, Colleges and Sixth Forms not supporting GCSE and AS/A Level courses when
Multitudinous. Often cited on the Facebook discussions are reasons such as:
• Budgets being squeezed and curriculums narrowed to cut costs.
• Ebacc pressure/restrictions on curriculum oﬀers at GCSE.
• Lack of parental understanding/support around the subject.
• National promotion of STEM subjects.
• Misconception regarding career pathways of ﬁlm students.
• Denigration of the arts from a wide variety of inﬂuences.
• Promotion of ‘prestige’ subjects/options within institutions.
• Lack of ﬁnancial support for Film studies as opposed to other subjects.
The ideas to arrest the declines:
In no speciﬁc order, here are some of the ideas/suggestions provided from the Facebook groups:
• “Some form of wider online community that links teachers, parents, students and employers”
• “Making it explicit how ﬁlm and English skills overlap is a good way of promoting the subject
too in this way. Also, I think getting educational charities that oﬀer school based experiences
or workshops ACROSS THE COUNTRY NOT JUST IN LONDON”
• Establishing ﬁlm and media related careers in any in school careers guidance days would help
students and parents to see the subject as functional and useful and aspirational, rather than
just a qualiﬁcation in watching ﬁlms!
• “I think we need to consider engaging industry”
• “some options evenings materials aimed at changing peoples perceptions of Film Studies”
• “use the skills shortage info that someone else posted ages ago to show ﬁrstly that their are
valid job prospects and second that there are other signiﬁcant cross-curricular links, such as
• “approach the industry itself. I was recently asking someone in the industry why they had set
up an academy school linked to a British Studio, and he told me it was to overcome the
severe skills shortage in the industry currently.”
• “speaking to rescue our schools which is about the crisis of the whole education system.”
• “speak to local universities about how they can support you.”
• “an open letter to share with the university ﬁlm studies community too to support the A Level
• “we could work together on creating an amazing open day pack/ workshop plan or even ﬁlm
studies promo ﬁlm to use?”
• “central location to meet should we need to is still there.”
• “possible publication of open letter to BAFTSS (British Association of Film, Television and
Screen Studies) on their website or new open access journal 'Open Screens’…they could
support schools and colleges - e.e.g making more links with A Level teachers, lobbying, etc”
• “campaign is needed to change perceptions of ﬁlm and media studies. Happy to help if I can.
As mentioned, a promo ﬁlm would be a great idea. Link this to a social media campaign”
• “a centralised approach pulling in not just educators but also organisations such as into ﬁlm
anything that promotes ﬁlm as a learning experience should logically promote the subject. “
• “contacting the MEA?”
• “stressing the transferable skills gained by studying both subjects could help? We have
parents, students and even other staﬀ who believe that universities don't count them as 'real'
A Levels and it's very frustrating.”
• “host a series of parent engagement evenings … explained diﬀerent job/apprenticehip
opportunities etc, as well as the more usual 'what can I do at home to support my child?' type
of advice. The next session will be on the examiners expectations…the ﬁnal session will be a
'masterclass' where I teach them an aspect of the course”
Possible plan (potentially in this order?)
1. Forming a group. Planning to ideally meet in person or at the least set-up an email exchange/
Twitter account/Facebook page/group.
2. An open letter that explains our collective frustration. Sent to relevant bodies, including
Government. Support from the letter could (should) come from industry as well as lobby
groups/charities/exam boards. Supported by/impressed upon groups such as networks of
Heads/Academy chains etc.
3. Then, working together to form a series of materials to help promote the subject for options/
open evenings. Eduqas are already working on this but I’m sure there will more we’d want to
4. Involve current ﬁlm education bodies such as BFI, intoFilm and more, to actively promote ﬁlm
as an academic subject at GCSE / AS / A Level.
5. Next, dialogue/discussions with Universities, especially Russell Group institutions in creating
speciﬁc links, perhaps such as ‘reduced tariﬀ entry pathways’ for potential ﬁlm students/
current ﬁlm students / taster-days for ﬁlm courses etc, support for coursework for both
GCSE / AS/A Level in allowing students to access equipment/libraries.
6. Dialogue/discussions with industry ﬁgures in creating speciﬁc pathways and routes into ﬁlm
careers/industry that are linked directly with schools and colleges, not just restricted to
Technical Colleges. These could be for apprenticeships, part-time or voluntary work or even
7. Finally, a nationwide campaign of ﬁlms focusing on a range of reasons for taking ﬁlm as a
subject that highlights the beneﬁts academically and professionally. This would, ideally be
fronted by well-known personalities and would provide examples of jobs, roles and skills in the
industry and explain how ﬁlm education has helped them/would beneﬁt potential ﬁlm