Hours of arts teaching and number of arts teachers fall in England’s secondary schools

12 May 2014

Department for Education figures released last month show that since 2010 the number of hours the arts are taught and the number of arts teachers in schools have fallen by up to 11%.

In comparison the EBacc subjects of History and Geography have seen rises in number of teachers and of hours taught of between 7% and 12%.

Even bearing in mind that the number of pupils in secondary schools is falling – pupil numbers have dropped by 68,365 or 2% since 2010, the arts are experiencing a disproportionate decline in provision.

  • Design and Technology is experiencing the greatest decline with 11% fewer teachers and hours of teaching.
  • Drama teacher numbers have fallen by 8% and the hours taught by 4%. These hours include teaching time from non-specialists.
  • Art & Design teachers have declined by 4% with a reduction of 6% in teaching hours.

Music is the only arts subject to have seen a decline in numbers similar to the decline in pupil numbers with 3% less teachers and 2% less 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, OECD and Pearson.

Figures are drawn from data in the Department for Education School Workforce in England and Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2013 statistics. For the full data tables download the PDF version of this article.