Policy and Practice round-up March 2018

26 March 2018

This month we bring you news of the Art teacher who won the Global Teacher Prize; key news pieces on the value of the arts; a National Audit Office report showing funding for Arts development is down 41% since 2010; two consultations; details of a freelance role working with the CLA on social media support; and a profile of Sue Jay who won a Pearson Teaching Award last year.

Global teacher prize

On 18 March Andria Zafirakou, an Art and Textiles teacher from Alperton Academy in Brent, London won the Global Teacher Prize, beating 30,000 other entries from 173 countries. The Prize was presented in Dubai and she receives $1m.

Andria is celebrating her win by wanting everyone to know how important it is to #TeachTheArts, and has talked and written passionately about the value of the arts to children’s education saying in the Sun that the ‘arts hold up the other subjects’.

There has been great coverage in the press about her work including on the BBC, and in  the Daily Mail, the Sun and an extended piece in the Guardian.

You can read about Andria’s practice on the Global Teacher Prize website

This month’s advocates

Prince Charles has spoken out about the value of the arts. On 7 March, while presenting the Industrial Cadets Awards for 2018, he talked about the risk to the future prosperity of the UK of failing to value creative arts. 

Rohan Silva, former No. 10 adviser, set out the importance of studying arts subjects for pupils’ future employability in a reasoned and well-evidenced piece for the Evening Standard, writing:

‘At a time when the Bank of England is predicting that as many as 15 million British jobs could be lost to automation, politicians should be pulling out all the stops to ensure our education system is equipping people with the skills they need to find high-quality work.’


There has much been written in particular about the decline of music in schools this month. Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, criticised the ‘steady decline’ of music provision in UK state schools in a speech celebrating Prince Charles’s 25-year association with the College. 

In February Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote in the Times about the ‘national scandal’ of the decline in music provision in his piece which was also published on the Music Industries Association website. 

The Economist also chipped in on the decline of music in schools, looking at the situation in Wales due to local authority cuts, and highlighting the decline of free instrument tuition across the UK.

41% decline in spending on arts development by local authorities since 2010

The National Audit Office published a report on the ‘Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities’ on 5 March. It included some really bleak statistics on reductions in spending by local authorities since 2010. Arts development funding is down by 41%; Culture and Heritage by 32%; and services for young people by 65%. For full details you can download the report from the National Audit Office website.

Arts Council England ten year strategy consultation

Arts Council England wants to know your thoughts about their strategic direction for 2020-2030. Until the 11 April there is an open conversation taking place online run by BritainThinks collecting opinions about the future of arts, museums and libraries in England. Read more and join the discussion.

Civil Society Strategy consultation

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has opened a consultation on its Civil Society Strategy, which will aim to build a stronger society. Let government know why culture is essential to building a stronger society, supporting social good, improving communities and building stronger public services. They are particularly interested in how the strategy can support young people to have a stronger role in civil society. Deadline 22 May.

Work with us – Invitation to tender for media support

The CLA is looking to appoint a freelancer to manage its website and social media output. This one-year contract to administer CLA social media across Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and our monthly newsletters will help us to amplify our voice and ensure the widest possible audience hears about the value of culture to children and young people.

Download our Invitation to Tender for more information and how to apply. Deadline 2 April.

Profile of Sue Jay, Head of creative arts at Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School

Finally, if you are in need of an uplifting read we recommend this profile of Sue Jay, who won a Pearson Teaching Award last year, about her passion for enabling her pupils to perform, written by the ever-brilliant Laura McInerney.