Policy and Practice round-up October 2022

13 October 2022

This month we bring you news of the new ministerial team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Department for Education (DfE); the Cultural Education Plan; what to look out for in the 26 October Arts Council England funding announcements; DTEA Labour Party Conference event; an invite to join Seize the Day; and a goodbye from Co-Directors Lizzie and Sam.

New Ministerial Team

This September we saw (another!) brand new Ministerial team take over the culture and education briefs.


The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan is our new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). She has previously worked as Minister for Higher and Further Education, where she spearheaded the Government’s response to the Augur Review and led on the Freedom of Expression agenda. Donelan made her first speech at the Conservative Party Conference last week.

Donelan is joined at the DCMS by Stewart Andrew who has been appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Art and Ceremonials, and by Lord Kamall, as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Civil Society, Heritage, Tourism and Growth.


The new Secretary of State for Education is the Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, who comes to education from the Home Office. His first speech claimed that the government would add more momentum to the ‘revolution’ begun by Gove, with a drive for more Academy Trusts and more reform. In response, the Association of School and College Leaders have published this open letter.

Johnathan Gullis MP, takes on the mantle of Minister for School Standards, and is joined by Kelly Tolhurst MP as Minister for Schools and Childhood.

Policy watch

It will be interesting to see the status of both the Education and the Levelling Up White Papers as the new government beds in. Encouragingly, work on the national Cultural Education Plan has already begun, with Baroness Bull having been appointed to the Chair of the Expert Panel.

At the end of October Arts Council England will be announcing its new investment portfolio, and the CLA will be looking carefully at how and whether the landscape shifts for children and young people. We know that government has asked ACE to invest in Levelling Up areas and to move funds out of London, so it will be important to see how this plays out.

Both the education and cultural sectors are currently experiencing complex pressures and a difficult climate, with the energy crisis, cost of living crisis, and recruitment and retention problems for the workforce all adding significant pressure to education institutions, freelancers and cultural organisations. Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England has published this blog on this issues and Curious Minds is running a national survey to assess the impact on the cultural learning workforce.

DTEA Labour Party Conference event

Congratulations to the Drama and Theatre Education Alliance (DTEA) on their Labour Party Conference event on the 27 September. 50 people joined the DTEA on the day to watch performances from the students of Calday Grammar School, and hear presentations from Bhavik Parmar, Helen Nicholson, Dan Meigh and Suba Das.

This was followed by vibrant discussion with politicians, policymakers and arts activists, managed and facilitated by Steve Ball. Barbara Keeley, Shadow Minister for the Arts attended as well as the Directors of both Campaign for the Arts and Socialist Arts.

Join Seize the Day 20-27 March 2023

Continuing the DTEA news do consider joining their Seize the Day initiative running 20-27 March 2023 to raise the profile of Drama and Theatre for children and young People.

DTEA ask that you run a drama or theatre event for, with or by children and young people, and invite your MP, Councillors and local Press. This is an opportunity to share your experiences of the journey your children and young people have been on, how drama and theatre has impacted them and the positive effects it has had. There is a checklist and more information on the DTEA website.

Goodbye: from Lizzie and Sam

As many of you know, the CLA is undertaking some organisational development and will be incorporating as an organisation for the first time. After more than a decade as Co-Directors, we will be leaving the CLA at this point. We have loved working with you all on this brilliant mission and hope to continue to do so in many different capacities.

The CLA members, Advisory Panel and Strategy Group made our work as Co-Directors possible. We leave with huge thanks to everyone who contributed their time and expertise over the years. You have all made the Cultural Learning Alliance what it is, and we look forward to what we will achieve for children and young people in the future.

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