A major new report on how school pupils engage with the arts has called for ring-fenced Government funding to ensure all children in primary and secondary schools have access to an “arts-rich” education.
The authors, who carried out research on an “unprecedented” scale, also recommend the introduction of a minimum curriculum time allocation for arts subjects to be assessed in Ofsted inspections.
These measures are intended to help preserve the “positive difference that sustained engagement with arts and cultural education has on the lives of young people” identified by the research.
Survey resultsThe study, commissioned by Arts Council England, was a three-year collaboration between 30 schools, the RSC, Tate, and the Nottingham School of Education. 6,000 responses were gathered from students aged 11-18 and their teachers from areas including London, Canterbury, Liverpool, Hull, Cornwall, Hastings and Doncaster.
The report highlights the importance of school to young people’s arts engagement. More than a third of students said school is their only opportunity to engage in arts activities, and a higher proportion of students say that school supports their interest in the arts (45%) than report that their parents do so (38%).
The scale of the research also enables a detailed demographic analysis. While slightly more female students than male students were highly engaged in at least one arts activity, males made up 78% of those least engaged.
Almost a quarter (23%) of students with a physical disability, and 14% of students with learning difficulties, are highly involved in at least one arts activity, compared to 5% of students without physical disabilities or learning difficulties. There is a similarly high-take up of the arts among people who identify as non-binary, with 28% of this group among the most engaged.
ConclusionsThe report identifies the key elements an ‘arts-rich’ school, saying that students in these:
The report also urges Russell Group universities to review their approach to facilitating subjects – those identified as providing young people with the most chance of getting into universities, and which do not include the arts – as well as calling for an ‘arts and culture premium’, modelled on the current £320m ring-fenced for sports in primary schools.
To read the full articles go to: https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/report-calls-arts-premium-schools
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