Arts Education

Our Policy Position

There have been many changes made to schools recently. The expansion of Academies, Progress 8, the EBacc and funding cuts have all contributed to the sense that the arts and technology is being de-prioritised in our education system. Anecdotally we have heard that schools are spending less time teaching the arts, have fewer specialist arts teachers, and in some cases are actively discouraging pupils from undertaking arts subjects because of the pressures of government policies and regulation.

We continue to monitor the impact of schools reforms on access to creative arts qualifications and are working together with Ukadia, HEAD trust, Cultural Learning Alliance and Clore Duffield in commissioning a research project on the take up of creative GCSE’s and A Levels. We know the reforms have put a strain on the quality and quantity of arts education in schools which ultimately risks having a knock on impact on admissions to creative arts institutions in higher education, so we are acting to understand better the evidence available.

With the erosion of traditional art education in schools it is vital that our specialist institutions support teachers to embed creative skills in the curriculum for young people, our UKADIA network of specialist arts institutions work together each year to develop a suite of teacher CPD workshops to improve the quality of arts education in schools. These workshops play a small part in how members are engaging and supporting schools, but we hope a coordinated approach will enable us to better understand how arts education is developing, and how we can better support pupils, teachers and families in the pursuit of creative excellence.