Vision for cultural education will inspire children


A review of cultural education has been published by the DfE, which includes recommendations such as setting up the first national youth dance company, an academy for young film-makers, and a national network of art and design Saturday clubs.

The review by Darren Henley covers all areas of cultural education and are intended to ensure that all children leave school as "well-rounded individuals with a knowledge of the world, past and present, around them”.
Mr Henley said many schools were already providing pupils with a high standard of cultural education, with excellent facilities and good teaching in art and design, design technology, music and the performing arts.
But he said it was now time to extend the reach of cultural education so that all children, especially those from poorer backgrounds, accessed the arts.
Education Secretary Michael Gove and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey welcomed the report. The Department for Education will invest £15 million over three years, pump-priming the system to make Mr Henley's recommendations a reality.
David Puttnam, Chair of the Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA), said: "We are pleased to see a number of our recommendations and ideas reflected in the report. Overall, it offers real potential for effective cultural learning for all children and young people.

"The forthcoming government National Plan for Cultural Education will be a critical document, as the infrastructure, funding and policy needed to make this vision a reality will centre on the place of cultural subjects in the National Curriculum and the English Baccalaureate, the role of Ofsted, and quality support and training for teachers, governors and cultural practitioners.”

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "Britain has forged a well-deserved reputation in popular culture – in film, dance, music and art.
"There are some brilliant examples of schools giving their pupils the opportunity to experience the full range of cultural subjects – both in school and outside the classroom – and in many families culture is a part of their everyday lives.
"But this is not always the case. Many children, especially poorer children, do not visit museums or art galleries, or go to concerts or the theatre, with their families.
"That is why we must strengthen what is offered in schools. Cultural education must not be a closed shop for poorer pupils. I want to end any suggestion that high culture is only for the privileged few."

The schemes include:

  • A new national youth dance company
  • New national art and design Saturday clubs
  • 'Heritage schools'
  • A new film academy for young people
  • Supporting teachers to improve the quality of cultural education in schools
  • A new DfE/DCMS ministerial group
  • A new national plan for cultural education
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