Policy and Practice Round-up July 2015

02 July 2015

This month we bring you news of; changes to Ofsted, a New Education bill, the Creative Industries Boom and employer needs, Artsmark, our Hay festival debate 'Should young people study the arts?', the new Children's Laureate, Sing Up and #CreateUK.

Changes to Ofsted

A new Ofsted Inspection Framework comes in to force in September 2015. Key changes which Arts subjects can help schools to deliver include a greater emphasis on a broad and balanced curriculum and a new judgement section on personal development, behaviour and welfare. This will include a focus on pupils’ confidence and self assurance as learners. Read more about the changes here.


CBI calls for major reform of 14-19 Education

In a major speech at the Sunday Times Festival of Education John Cridland of the Confederation of British industry (CBI) called for sweeping reform of secondary education. He suggested that GCSEs are no longer fit for purpose and that schools should focus on outcomes for individuals rather than narrow accountability measures. His speech recommends that broad A-levels, both vocational and academic, should replace GCSEs.


New Education bill announced

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, has announced a new Education and Adoption Bill. The bill proposes new powers in relation to converting any school judged to be  "inadequate" to academy status. ‘Coasting’ schools, where under 60% of pupils get five A to C GCSEs or a below-average proportion of pupils are making the expected amount of progress, will be transferred to academy status.

The House of Commons Library has prepared a useful briefing, available here, and you can read the BBC News response to the Bill here.


Boom in employment for Creative industries

Figures published on June 30 by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) show that employment in the Creative Industries is growing at more than twice the rate of the wider UK economy.

The sector employs 1.8 million people and accounted for 5.8% of all jobs in the UK in 2014. The Creative Industries are also more likely to employ graduates:  59% of jobs were filled by people with at least a degree or equivalent, compared to 31.8 per cent of all jobs in the UK. One in every six jobs held by graduates is in the Creative Industries.

Read the full findings on DCMS’s website.


Employers need technical expertise, creativity and softer skills

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills published Sector insights: Skills challenges in the digital and creative sector on June 9.

The Commission reports that employers in both the digital and creative sub-sectors are increasingly seeking a fusion of technical expertise, creativity and softer skills. It flagged the issue that our education system is not equipping young people to go in to the digital and creative sector ‘with up-to-date technical skills, or the softer skills required to be effective in the workplace’.

Recommendations include improving careers guidance, and ensuring a wide choice of courses combining technical and creative skills is available so the study of digital and creative is not seen as an either/or choice.


Arts Council update

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, has continued his focus on Cultural Education, started in May with his speech at Ferens Arts Gallery in Hull, with a blog post, ‘The possibilities are endless’. The blog included the lines:

I believe that everyone has the ability to be creative, no matter who they are or where they come from. But not everyone has the opportunity for their personal creativity to be unleashed. Nowhere is this more important than in the lives of our young people.


You can follow Darren on twitter to find out more about his activities promoting Cultural Education.


On your Artsmark, get set, go!

A new Artsmark launches in September. The new award is designed to support deeper connections with schools’ own strategies and align with school curriculum and planning cycles. 

All participating schools will develop a Statement of Commitment to arts and culture that connects to the broader curriculum and helps to provide evidence for Ofsted.

If you would like to be kept up to date on developments email to be added to their mailing list.


Hay Festival: 'Should young people study the arts?

The CLA was delighted to chair a panel discussing “Should young people study the arts?”, as part of BBC Get Creative at the Hay festival on 1 June.

You can listen to the whole discussion which includes contributions from Professor Dai Smith, Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, Kevin Jones, Headmaster of St John's College School Cambridge, Sam Smith from Transition Tradition and our own Lizzie Crump.


Chris Riddell new children's laureate

Chris Riddell is the new Children’s Laureate for 2015-2017. He is a writer and illustrator known especially for his distinctive line drawings.  

The role of Children's Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.

Chris will have a specific focus on illustrating, as well as on school libraries. You can follow his adventures on the Laureate Log. You can write to Chris or invite him to your school through the Children’s Laureate website.


Sing Up resources

Want to do more singing in your school? Sing Up is a not-for-profit organisation providing resources, training and personalised support for schools.  On their website they also have information about the evidence base for the many benefits of singing.



The Department for Culture Media and Sport is celebrating the phenomenal success of the UK Creative Industries in a week-long digital event from Monday 29 June to Friday 3 July. Each day sees a different spotlight. Wednesday was about careers and employment. There is also a competition to win a day behind the scenes at leading creative employers, including London Fashion Week and VFX companies. Read more on the DCMS website or check out #CreateUK on twitter.