Responding to the DfE’s announcement of a funding boost for the arts, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“It is good to see the government recognising the importance of arts education. The majority of this money will help the most talented access the specialised schools that can make all the difference to entering careers in music, dance and drama.
“However, it’s vitally important that all pupils get to take part in music and the arts throughout their time in school, otherwise many will never discover their talents. All pupils deserve to benefit from the advantages studying creative arts subjects can give, not just the most talented few.
“Inadequate funding, combined with a high-stakes accountability regime, is actively narrowing the curriculum available to pupils in our schools. In an NAHT survey, 79% of secondary school leaders said that the EBacc had already had a negative impact on the breadth of the curriculum in their school. Entries for all non-EBacc subjects showed a decline in 2017 including drama, music and art.
“Educators know the value of the creative arts – every day they see first-hand the difference it can make to pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged. These subjects are demanding and challenge pupils in a wide range of ways. Arts learning also improves the vital skills pupils need for life and which employers consistently rate as the most valuable, such as confidence, teamwork and cultural awareness.”
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