Policy and practice round-up Feb 2012

24 February 2012

In our pre-Henley Review Round-Up we bring you new evidence of the impact of local authority cuts; Arts Award for younger children; recommendations from the UK Film Policy Review; and news of the 1,000th Creative Apprentice.

Henley watch

We now know that the long-awaited Henley Review of Cultural Education will be launched at mid-day on Tuesday 28th of February. We will be there, and will be tweeting live and analysing the document on the day - look for updates late Tuesday evening and check to see how many of our recommendations have made into the Review.

Evidence of severe impact of local authority cuts on cultural learning

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has undertaken some research into the early impacts of the local authority budget cuts since 2010. The research indicates that Children’s Services have been one of the most deeply affected in authorities, hit particularly by job losses and in a reduction in spending. However, the report also indicates that libraries, cultural and heritage services have taken the next largest proportional reduction (with the arts and museums jointly absorbing 37% of these cultural cuts), followed by Early Years Services and then Sport and Leisure. Schools programmes, play and youth work were also particularly identified as recurring ‘casualties’ in local authority reprioritisation. The report concludes:

‘That the ‘next generation’ are the most obvious casualty of the current remaking of local government provides considerable cause for concern.’

This is a bleak picture.

We urge those involved in local authority commissioning to be mindful of the very real and evidenced benefits of cultural learning, and to continue to fight for a proportionally equal investment into the services, organisations, people and projects which so closely affect the futures and life-chances of our children and young people.

Arts Award opened up to children aged seven or over

From April Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England will be launching two new levels of Arts Award, open to children and young people aged seven or over: Explore and Discover.

Discover, an introductory level, and Explore, accredited at Entry Level 3 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), will complement the existing Arts Award Bronze, Silver and Gold. The development of the new awards follows a successful pilot involving 123 organisations across the country.

If you are interested in running Arts Award for ages seven and upwards you can now book to train as Discover and Explore advisers.

The Future of British Film: the UK Film Policy Review

Last month the Film Policy Review Panel published their report: A Future for British Film, it begins with the audience. This panel, led by Lord Smith, was asked to identify barriers to growth in the industry and to make recommendations to the Government. The resulting document includes 56 suggestions including the following one for cultural learning:

‘Recommendation 7: Building on the success and expertise of current providers, we recommend the BFI should co-ordinate a new unified offer for film education which brings together making, seeing and learning about film in an easy and accessible offer. This would be available in every school across the UK. It would be supported by an online platform or ‘one-stop destination’ to explore and enjoy film, giving easy access to learning materials, resources and information. The Panel further recommends the aim should be for this work to be jointly funded by the BFI, DfE and industry bodies in partnership with the DfE and the respective education departments for Devolved Administrations (DAs); and with industry bodies’

The DCMS press release states:

‘Film education has a vital role to play in ensuring that everyone in the UK has the opportunity to engage with film. By enhancing the stock of knowledge and information about film, in particular among children and young people, film education can assist in growing the audience of today and tomorrow, ensuring that audiences have an improved understanding and appreciation of different kinds of film, whilst stimulating creativity.

Congratulations CCSkills!

Creative & Cultural Skills are celebrating 1,000 young people employed as Creative Apprentices across the UK.

When Creative Apprenticeships launched in 2008, there were few (if any) non-graduate entry routes into this highly competitive sector. Last year’s National Apprenticeship Week saw the 500th apprentice in the creative sector; this year, that number now sits at over 1,000.