Policy and Practice round-up September 2015

08 September 2015

This month we bring you news of a Culture White Paper; Arts GCSEs including a fall of 14%; OCR’s five reasons to study creative subjects; a letter from a curious parent to Nicky Morgan; ideas for a CD19 commitment; and a film from What Next? generation – the power of culture.

Culture White Paper

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) is planning to publish a White Paper setting out their vision and agenda for the cultural sectors. There will be four main themes including one about ‘people and how they engage with culture.’

DCMS plan to look at each of the themes in turn over the coming months through a dedicated #OurCulture platform. The CLA will of course be feeding in to the debate on behalf of our members.


GCSE results

The big story for August is of course the GCSE and A level results. Disappointingly the picture for the arts is still a decline in all subjects, except for Art & Design. See our post on what the picture for Arts in Schools is and our updated GCSE tables, including this year’s results. 

A range of organisations used GCSE results day to call for a more balanced, creative and wide ranging education

The CBI used it  to call for reform to 14-18 year-old education ‘with the aim to create a system that delivers academic, vocational and combined options for all young people.’ The CBI also highlighted the need for schools to develop attitudes and resilience and not focus narrowly on exam results. 

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, called for a curriculum which takes greater account of the full range of skills young people require to equip them for life. In his piece in the Independent Lightman questioned the current format of the EBacc saying  ‘there is a danger that devoting so much of the curriculum to these subjects will restrict the time available for creative and technical subjects.’

OCR the examining body, made a plea for art, music and drama in school to be celebrated. OCR staff, Marie Jones, Karen Latto and Jane Beagrie, set out five reasons to study creative subjects. Read the detail on their website.

OCR’s five reasons to study creative subjects

  • The arts make self starters and develop emotional intelligence
  • The arts are stretching 
  • Arts students are highly sought-after by employers 
  • Arts ‘reach the parts other subjects can’t reach’ 
  • Arts ‘reach the students other subjects can’t reach’ 


Letter from a curious parent to Nicky Morgan

Michael Rosen continues his letters from a curious parent to Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, with Dear Ms Morgan: there’s no point giving children tickets for closed libraries published on the 1 September. Rosen includes reference to our GCSE stats as he tries to unpick Morgan’s statements about the arts. It is well worth a read, and a share.


What if every child could fly? A blueprint for a better world

The Mighty Creatives, the Arts Council England Bridge for the East Midlands, published their blueprint for a better world for children and young people in August: What if every child could fly? A blueprint for a better world. The Blueprint promotes play, creativity and culture as the rights and rocket fuel of a good childhood and is a statement of ambition. We think it will be useful if you want to kick start a conversation about partnership or ways of working, and it contains some great frameworks and tools for thinking about cultural learning. 


What does a culturally educated, design-literate 19 year old look like?

We’ve enjoyed reading CLA steering group member Joe Hallgarten’s blog ‘What does a culturally educated, design-literate 19 year old look like?’ and recommend a read. We look forward to having some meaty conversations about what the CD19 (culturally educated, design literate 19 year old) commitment should look like.


Power of culture one minute film

Take a look at this one minute film on the power of culture from What Next? generation. 

What Next? is movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK, to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society. What Next? Generation is for those at the start of their careers.

If you haven’t got involved you can turn up at your local chapter, no invite is necessary. Detail on the What Next? website about locations and times.