Policy and Practice Round-up

27 February 2015

Not for me. Not for you. But for us: Ed Miliband’s arts and culture speech

Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour party, gave an unprecedented speech about the Labour party’s plans for arts and culture on 23 February at Battersea Arts Centre.

Opening with the Centre’s original motto ‘Not for me. Not for you. But for us’, and using CLA statistics, research and manifesto recommendations, he outlined Labour’s plans to deliver a universal entitlement to the arts for all children and young people.

Labour will change Ofsted inspections so only schools that ‘provide high quality creative subjects and cultural opportunities to all their pupils’ will be rated outstanding, change STEM to STEAM, and create school culture champions. The CLA was delighted to see its key policy recommendations so wholeheartedly supported by a party leader.

He also committed to establishing a Prime Minister’s Committee on the arts, culture and creative industries to ensure that arts and culture are at the heart of government.

Read the full text of the speech here.

Registered to vote?

While we are talking about politics, are you and the over 17s you work with registered to vote?

Voter registration is changing. We now have to register individually, which can be done online with your national insurance number, and takes five minutes.

More focus on breadth of curriculum in Ofsted inspections?

On 3 February Ofsted published Better inspection for all, the response to its consultation on changes to the school inspection regime.

From September 2015 a new common assessment framework for all settings, including early years and frequent shorter inspections of good schools will be introduced. The new Common Inspection Framework and new handbooks for the different settings will be published in the summer of 2015.

Inspectors will be contracted directly by Ofsted and will inspect the type of provision for which they have the appropriate expertise and training.

The curriculum will still form part of the inspection and it will be inspected under the judgement on leadership and management, as it is now. The new framework will place a greater emphasis on the breadth and suitability of the curriculum and the type and range of courses and opportunities offered by providers. More detail on how the curriculum will be examined will be provided in the inspection handbooks. 

The future of cultural value: Warwick Commission reports

On 17 February, after more than a year of work which included input from the CLA, the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value published its final report Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth.

Vikki Heywood, Chair of the commission and Chair of the RSA opened the report stating:

The key message from this report is that the government and the Cultural and Creative Industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life.

The report describes the ecology of the cultural and creative industries sector. There is strong acknowledgement of the vital role that cultural learning plays in this ecology and education forms one of the four themes of the report, with 18 related recommendations.

We’re delighted that the Commission has strongly endorsed the CLA manifesto and our ‘asks’ form a substantial part of the education section recommendations. These include our recommendations on a national plan, changes to Ofsted, a STEAM curriculum, education Trustees for cultural organisations and an Arts and Culture pupil premium.

Download and read the report here.

Drama GCSE and A Level assessment confirmed

Last month we reported on the decision to make the examined assessment of GCSEs and A Level's in Dance and Music 40% of the overall assessment, despite the consultation responses recommending a smaller percentage.

This month the arrangements for Drama were announced and we are disappointed to see that again that exams will make up 40% of assessment in both GCSE Drama and A Level Drama and Theatre.

The new GCSEs and A levels will be available for first teaching from 2016.

Global Teacher Prize – UK top 10 finalist!

The Global Teacher Prize is an annual $1 million award from the Varkey Foundation to one extraordinary teacher.

Teachers in settings for children aged 5-18 are judged to identify an extraordinary teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

Richard Spencer, a chemistry teacher from Middlesbrough College, is in the top 10 finalists this year. He talks about being inspired by art and music and uses them to teach creatively in his classes. See him using song and dance in his classes to teach here.