Policy and Practice Round-up July 2014

29 July 2014

Nicky Morgan replaces Michael Gove as Education Secretary

July saw Michael Gove replaced as Education Secretary by Nicky Morgan, formally Minister for Women. Michael Gove has made Chief Whip by the Prime Minster. There has been much written on this move with most not seeing it as a demotion. Read what the BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail, and Anthony Seldon writing in the Evening Standard have to say about the change.

Additional £18 million funding for music education

On 22 July an additional £18 million in funding for music education was announced by the Department for Education. This is new money and very good news.

The funding will be distributed by Arts Council England and used for Music Education Hubs bringing the pot for Music Hubs in 2015-16 to £75 million up from £58 million this year.

Education Minister Nick Gibb announcing the funding stated: 'No education can be complete without the arts and music playing a central role.'

Labour Arts Alliance and Young People and the Arts consultation

July also saw the opening of Labour Arts Alliance, which will make Labour’s case for the arts, and the closing of Labour’s Young People and Arts consultation. The results of the consultation will feed in to the development of the Labour manifesto. Read the CLA’s response to the 19 questions.

Create UK

The Creative Industries Council launched Create UK, a series of events and initiatives highlighting the role of the UK creative industries as an economic force and source of global influence at a glittering event on 2 July.

Included in the activity is a new strategy. The role of arts and culture as an incubator for the creative industries is strongly made as is the need for STEM to STEAM.

The Impact of After-School Arts Programs

The Pittsburgh Kids & Creativity Network blog has helpfully pulled together a range of recent research on the impact of after school arts programmes. The impacts include cutting young offending rates and risky behaviours like drug use, as well as making up some of the additional 6,000 hours it is estimated a middle class child has spent learning by age 11, compared to their lower income peers.

NSEAD finds art, craft and design marginalised in state schools

NSEAD have published their fourth survey on the impact of policy changes on art, craft and design highlighting the disincentives acting on provision of art & design in schools.

NSEAD key findings are:

  • Performance measures that exclude or marginalise art, craft and design are impacting on key stage 3-4 provision, pupil choice, gallery and museum visits, specialist staff, professional development and the perceived value of the subject in state schools.
  • Fewer specialist art, craft and design teachers are being trained. Non- specialist staff are teaching art, craft and design lessons and significant numbers of specialists in post rarely or never receive professional development.
  • Opportunities for pupils to work with creative practitioners or to engage with original works of art, craft and design in galleries and museums have been reduced.
  • Art, craft and design teachers report their subject is not always highly valued by senior staff and governors in maintained schools. This is a picture not reflected in the independent sector.
  • Learning opportunities for pupils in art, craft and design at key stages 3 and 4 in many state schools have reduced significantly. This is not is not the case in independent schools, where curriculum entitlement and choice has been sustained.

The TES article on the survey led with the reduction in Art lessons which CLA research on Department for Education statistics also bears out, and the Museum Association covered the reduction in visits to museums and Galleries.

Understanding the value and impacts of cultural experiences

Arts Council England have published Understanding the value and impacts of cultural experiences an international literature review conducted by WolfBrown. The publication looks at the ways people have attributed value to cultural experiences and contributes to the cultural value debate currently being pushed forward by the AHRC Cultural Value project and the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value.

Inspiring Music for All report

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has published Inspiring Music for All: next steps in innovation, improvement and integration.

The review was led by CLA steering group member Katherine Zerserson, Director of Learning and Participation at Sage Gateshead and looks at challenges in music teaching and the work being undertaken to improve practice, and assesses the impact of PHF's Musical Futures initiative in the field.

The review provides recommendations focusing on working together to strengthen the evidence base for the sector and ultimately improve music education across the UK.

Arts Council England funding

On the 1 July Arts Council England announced its funding allocations for National portfolio organisations (NPOs) and Major partner museums (MPM) for 2015-2018. Key changes are:

  • A new Bridge organisation in the North East – Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. The Bridges work to connect schools and other settings with cultural organisations in their regions as well as supporting Arts Mark and Arts Award.
  • A reduction in the number of NPOs from 682 to 670 with 46 new organisations funded and 58 leaving the portfolio.
  • The number of MPMs is increasing from 16 to 21.
  • A large cut has been made to Strategic Funds which are down from £153 million to £104 million.

Summer reading challenge

Recent research with identical twins has shown that reading at a young age makes you smarter. Bearing that in mind we would like to remind you of the fabulous Summer Reading Challenge – this year entitled Magical Maze.

At CLA we will be corralling all the under 16s in our families and getting them down to our local libraries to collect their posters and choose their books. Read more about how to get involved here.

There are many ways of being smart

Finally just in case any of your missed it here is the text of the inspiring letter from Barrowford Primary school’s headteacher that went out to pupil’s with their key stage 2 SAT results. The letter went viral with thousands of downloads, read about it on BBC News.

One of our very own CLA members Sally Fort tweeted us about Barrowford:

That's my lad's school that is! They are this wonderful every single day. (Also a Museums & Schools / Arts Award school)

Text of the letter from Barrowford Primary School to pupil’s:

Please find enclosed your end of KS2 test results. We are very proud of you as you demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried your very best during this tricky week.

However, we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you... the way your teachers do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way your families do. They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends. They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best... the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.

So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember there are many ways of being smart.