News

Decline in arts teaching hours and teachers

28 October 2016

Department for Education figures published in June 2016 show that between 2010 and 2015 the number of hours the arts were taught in secondary schools and the number of arts teachers both fell by 15%.

In comparison the EBacc subjects of History and Geography saw rises in the number of teachers and of hours taught of between 10% and 18%.

  • Design and Technology is experiencing the greatest falls with 25% fewer teachers and 23% fewer hours of teaching.
  • Drama teacher numbers have fallen by 15% and the hours taught by 10%. These hours include teaching time from non-specialists.
  • Art & Design teachers have declined by 9% with a reduction of 13% in teaching hours.

The decline of arts subjects in England’s schools is especially worrying given the wide ranging transferrable skills children gain from studying the arts. These skills have been identified as important for success in the 21st Century by reports from the CBI[ii], OECD[iii] and Pearson[iv].

Data from the Department for Education School Workforce in England[v] statistics is below.

Headcount of teachers by subject

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Percentage change 2010 to 2015

History

15000

16600

15800

16100

16200

16500

+10%

Geography

13500

14900

14200

14700

14800

15400

+14%

Design and Technology

15000

14800

13800

13400

12700

11500

-23%

Music

7500

8000

7400

7300

7100

6900

-8%

Drama

11100

11600

10500

10200

9600

9400

-15%

Art & Design

13200

13900

12800

12700

12400

12000

-9%

All arts subjects

46800

48300

44500

43600

41800

39800

-15%

 

Hours taught by subject

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Percentage change 2010 to 2015

History

153400

161800

165100

170600

173400

177000

+15%

Geography

138700

146600

149300

155800

159300

164100

+18%

Design and Technology

119900

114600

107800

106200

100300

89500

-25%

Music

92700

93100

91700

90900

88600

85500

-8%

Drama

95000

96500

92400

91300

87300

85100

-10%

Art & Design

159800

157700

151500

150200

144800

139000

-13%

All arts subjects

467400

461900

443400

438600

421000

399100

-15%

Data for Dance is not available in the released DfE figures.

 

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Cultural Learning Alliance, Key Research Findings, 2011 http://www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk/page.aspx?p=93

[ii] CBI, Changing the pace CBI/Pearson education and skills survey 2013, (London: CBI, 2013) 6. http://www.cbi.org.uk/media/2119176/education_and_skills_survey_2013.pdf

[iii] http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa-2012-results-skills-for-life-volume-v_9789264208070-en

[iv] http://thelearningcurve.pearson.com/reports/the-learning-curve-report-2014/21st-century-skills#.U28hSbo2Mmk.twitter

[v] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-workforce