Arts education: ‘It’s not enough minister’ say arts chiefs

Arts leaders, including the artistic director of English National Ballet and the CEO of the British Fashion Council, have today demanded full creative education for all schoolchildren.

 In response to an article in The Daily Telegraph by schools minister Nick Gibb in which announced new initiatives and wrote that “high-quality arts education should not be the preserve of the elite, but the entitlement of every child”, Tamara Rojo, Caroline Rush, John Kamfpner of the Creative Industries Federation and Sir John Sorrell of The Sorrell Foundation, a leading cultural  charity, have said initiatives announced then were not enough.

Main image, Tamara Rojo, CEO and artistic director, English National Ballet

“Arts education will only be truly accessible if all schools, at all ages, deliver creative subjects” they write in a letter to the same paper published today. “This will not be possible until creative subjects are recognised alongside other core EBacc subjects.”

Many schools have stopped offering creative subjects, they go on to say, and in 2017 entries for GCSEs in creative subjects fell by 47,000 from the previous year. Current entry rates to creative subjects at Key Stage 4 have fallen to the lowest in a decade, and statistics cited by Gibb as showing improvement in the offer do not include entries for design and technology, a vital creative subject that has seen entry rates fall by 42 per cent since 2010.

“This will not help to ensure that every child has access to arts education. It is also damaging to our future economy, as the rise of automation will increasingly require the next generation to be equipped with creative and technical skills” the letter says.


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