Make museums easier for children to visit
Museums should be made easier for children from less wealthy backgrounds to enjoy, a new report from the charity Kids in Museums says, calling on a series of barriers to be broken down.
The report, a literature review written by consultant Sally Whitaker and to be launched on May 12, finds a series of obstacles to less well off young people’s access to our historical collections and calls for them to be urgently addressed.
- Practical barriers such as availability and cost of transport, admission charges, cost of refreshment and accessibility to information.
- Social and attitudinal barriers – visitors tend to be from better off families and parents may be unwilling to encourage the children to make visits, or schools may give the message that museums are irrelevant to the their lives.
- Pressures on school curriculums through limited time and budget cuts.
- Limited consultation with young people.
- Poor collaboration between museums and community groups.
- The short term nature of project funding means changes tend not to be lasting.
The report recommends clear guidelines, and more research on the engagement of young people with museums and their collections.