Policy and Practice round-up December 2019

09 December 2019

This month we bring you news of the OECD PISA results and the news that England will be opting out of the 2021 creative thinking test; the Frankfurt declaration for arts education; arts education manifestos; election lobbying; and the £50,000 Fusion Prize.

Department for Education opts England out of PISA creativity test and 2018 test results published

PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment and measures 15 year-olds ability in English, Maths, Science and one different ‘innovative domain’ in each three-year cycle. The 2018 test results were published on 3 December 2019 and show improvements in the UK’s English and Maths scores.

In 2021 PISA’s innovative domain will be creative thinking. The recently published Durham Commission report has recommended England take part in the creative thinking tests. However England has been opted out of the 2021 innovative domain test by Nick Gibb, our current Schools Minister, as reported by the TES. Wales has already opted out.

Professor Bill Lucas who co-chairs the Strategic Advisory Group for the PISA 2021 creative thinking tests has stressed that there is still time to opt back into the creative thinking test.

Frankfurt declaration

In 2010 UNESCO published the Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education. As the 10th anniversary approaches the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) has published the Frankfurt Declaration. The Declaration calls for transformative action and recognition of the role of arts education in sustaining communities and meeting the needs of all people in the face of critical global challenges.

Arts education manifestos

In time for the election several coalitions and arts subject specialist groups have published manifestos.

NSEAD Art & Design manifesto

NSEAD (National Society for Education in Art and Design) published their 10 point manifesto on 4 December, calling for joined-up thinking from political leaders. The manifesto sets out the changes and areas for action they want for the subject, including recognition of the role of Art & Design in social cohesion; equality of access to the subject; a stronger curriculum and CPDL for teachers; better careers advice; and changes to the school accountability system. Read the full manifesto on their website.

Bacc for the Future manifesto

Bacc for the Future campaigns for abolition or reform of the English Baccalaureate accountability measure.  Published on 8 November the campaign’s manifesto outlines key initiatives to improve access to, and the uptake of, arts subjects.

One Dance manifesto

Launched on the 6 December the One Dance is calling for every child and young person to have access to dance in their manifesto and they list five key actions they want candidates and MPs to support. Read the One Dance manifesto.

Drama Theatre and Young People manifesto 2019 launch

On 19 November a coalition of education and arts groups launched the Drama Theatre and Young People Manifesto 2019. It calls for every child and young person to have an entitlement to drama and theatre throughout their education. To deliver this the Manifesto calls for:

  • High quality drama teaching to be made a curriculum entitlement for every child and young person
  • High quality theatre experiences to be made a cultural entitlement for every child and young person
  • Young people to be supported to enter the theatre workforce
  • A world class education workforce and infrastructure in drama and theatre education

Read the full manifesto and see the range of partners involved on the manifesto website.

#ArtsforBritain – election lobbying

In time for this week's election our friends at What Next? are focusing on asking everyone with an interest in arts education to tweet, facebook or email their local candidates in the general election to ask them one question about arts and culture and use the hashtag #ArtsforBritain. Suggested questions are:

  • What are your thoughts on the place of the arts in education?
  • What is your approach to investment in local arts and culture?
  • What do you feel about your local authority’s record on supporting arts and cultural services?

You can see what people have been writing and how parties and candidates are responding on twitter.

Culture Mile Fusion Prize – £50,000 to upskill future generations through creative or cultural experiences

Culture Mile, an initiative from the City of London, and Foundation for Future London, have partnered on the Fusion Prize, a new competition – with a £50,000 prize fund – to find innovative ways to upskill future generations, empowering them to meet the demands of today’s employers.

The Fusion Prize invites schools, universities, charities, and businesses from across the UK, to work together and pitch ideas for programmes or products designed to develop the skills of London’s children or young people through creative or cultural experiences. The deadline is 17 January 2020. For more information see the Fusion Prize Website.