Policy and practice round-up March 2016

22 March 2016

This month we bring you news of the cultural value of arts in education, how playing a musical instrument increases educational attainment, Dance in the PE and Sport Premium, the Creative Journeys film on making GCSE choices, Grants of £1,000 for schools in Wales, the Into Film Awards and a heads up to look out for the Culture White Paper on Wednesday 23 March.

Cultural Value Report

The three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council Cultural Value project reported this month. The project looked at a very wide range of cultural engagement and the final report includes a chapter on arts in education.

The chapter highlights the difficulties in finding robust evidence which shows that the arts improve formal attainment in standardised tests but it comments on the wide ranging evidence that:

‘arts in education has been shown to contribute in important ways to the factors that underpin learning, such as cognitive abilities, confidence, motivation, problem- solving and communication skills.’ Cultural Value Report, Executive Summary, page 8

You can download the full report from the Cultural Value website.

Playing a musical instrument increases educational attainment

New evidence from Australia published on Culture Case from Kings Cultural Institute shows that playing a music instrument increased the educational attainment of young people when compared to that of the control group.

The research suggested that the reason for the increase was the young people’s motivation and engagement at school. You can read more on the Culture Case website.

PE and sport premium used for Dance

With news in the Budget that the Primary School PE and sport premium is to be doubled we thought it worth reminding readers that Dance is included in the PE curriculum and that the premium is being used by schools to provide more Dance activities.

Evaluation published by the Department for Education found that the majority of schools reported having introduced new sports in both curricular PE and extra-curricular sport, as a result of the premium. 

  • 23% of schools had introduced Dance as a new activity in curricular PE – the second most cited new activity
  • 29% of schools had introduced dance in extra-curricular time – the most frequently cited new activity

The evaluation also found that the most common uses of the premium were to up-skill and train existing staff, buy new equipment, provide more extra-curricular activities and employ new coaches. You can read more about how schools have been using the Sport and PE premium to fund Dance activity on the Youth Dance England website, where you can also find information about local sources of information.

Know any young people choosing GCSEs?

The new film Creative Journeys from the Sorrell Foundation unpacks some of the myths around taking arts subjects at GCSE and available careers. Watch for stories of how some of the UK’s leading designers, architects, engineers and other creative professionals got started.

One in 12 jobs in the UK is in the creative economy and the creative industries account for 5.8% of all jobs. If you know anyone making choices about GCSEs we recommend watching the film to understand how taking arts subjects can help in keeping their options open.

Experiencing the Arts - Grants of £1,000 for schools in Wales

As part of the Lead Creative Schools Scheme, the Arts Council of Wales has launched a new funding stream: Experiencing the Arts. Schools can apply for small one-off grants of up to £1,000 to fund visits to arts events in galleries, theatres, arts centres and other venues. Read more about the fund on their website.

Congratulations to all the Into Film Award winners!

On Tuesday 15 March the star-studded Into Film Awards were held at ODEON Leicester Square. The event highlighted just how much creativity is demonstrated by today's children and young people. Awards were handed out to the best young filmmakers, film clubs and teachers of the past 12 months. Congratulations to all the Award winners!

Culture White Paper due Wednesday 23 March

Keep your eyes peeled this week for the new Culture White Paper which we hear will be published on Wednesday 23 March. We will be tweeting key elements (@CultureLearning) and there will be a full report in our next newsletter.