Policy and Practice round-up February 2018

08 February 2018

This month we bring you news of a BBC survey on cuts to creative subjects in schools, Arts Council England's ten year strategy consultation, the child poverty map, a request from the RSA and Hearts for the Arts nominees.

Creative Subjects being cut back in schools

On 30 January the BBC published the results of its survey on the current picture for arts subjects in secondary education in England. Of the 1,200 schools that responded (40% of all secondary schools) nine out of ten schools that responded said they had cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject. This survey echoes the findings of many other surveys and research initiatives, the most recent being the Education Policy Institute’s: Entry to the Arts at Key Stage 4. You can read our post of last year as a refresher on some of the other data and research relating to arts in schools.

The CLA’s Sam Cairns spoke on BBC Radio Sheffield about the survey, and the Creative Industries Federation John Kampfner spoke on BBC Breakfast. You can read the thoughts of artist Bob and Roberta Smith in the Evening Standard.

Want to make sure that cultural learning is championed by Arts Council England?

Have your say in its ten-year strategy consultation.

BritainThinks has been commissioned by Arts Council England to get your take on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for arts, museums and libraries in England. Over the next 12 weeks they’ll be asking for your views on the most important things facing the sector and the feedback will then help Arts Council England shape its strategy. You can take part by logging in to the portal here and you can read Chief Executive Darren Henley’s blog about the process and the strategy here.

Child Poverty Map: number of children living in poverty is sharply on the rise

The End Child Poverty coalition has published a new Child Poverty map.  New figures reveal that there are now constituencies within the UK where more than half of children are growing up in poverty – compared to one in ten in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates. The figures also show that some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since the coalition’s last local child poverty figures for December 2015. Increases of 10 percentage points in some areas demonstrate the growing crisis of child poverty in the UK.

This is a really useful though extremely disturbing resource that paints a stark picture for young people in many geographic locations – it’s possible to build a very detailed picture of your area when read alongside last month’s Social Mobility Commission report.

Arts and cultural provision in your school - the Royal Society of Arts wants to hear from you

In partnership with Arts Council England, A.N.D and others, The Royal Society of Arts recently launched their Learning about Culture programme exploring the benefits that arts and cultural learning offers to children and young people. If you’re a school leader, governor or have responsibility for arts and cultural learning in your primary or secondary school, they really want to hear from you. Do fill out their short survey by 28 February to have your say as part of this important programme of research.

Primary schools can also register to take part in trials of five arts and cultural education projects, starting September 2018.

Congratulations to Hearts for the Arts nominees

The National Campaign for the Arts and UK Theatre have announced the shortlist of local authority projects and colleagues who have delivered outstanding work in the arts. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated – we look forward to hearing more about this inspiring work (and the winners) when they are announced on 14 February.


Photo credit: Maker Camp 2016 © Derby Museums