Secondary Arts Premium confirmed in Budget

13 March 2020

On Wednesday 11 March the Conservative Manifesto commitment of a Secondary School Arts Premium was confirmed in the Budget.

The CLA has been calling for an Arts Premium since 2015, and we reported last year that both Labour and the Conservatives had included an Arts Premium in their manifestos.

In the Budget report the Arts Premium is described as:

‘£90 million a year to introduce an Arts Premium from September 2021, averaging out as an extra £25,000 a year per secondary school for three years. The funding will help schools to provide high quality arts programmes and extracurricular activities for pupils, including those delivered in partnership with arts organisations, as well as supporting teachers to deliver engaging and creative lessons in the arts.’

From this we infer the current plans are for funding to be paid directly to schools the same way the Pupil and PE and Sport Premiums are paid.

We very pleased that the Arts Premium will go ahead as manifesto commitments are not always delivered, but are disappointed the amount available has dropped from £110 million to £90 million a year.

As with all policy the devil is in the detail.  We believe that the Premium should be used to support high-quality, sustained provision of arts subjects and cultural experiences in schools. We’ve had lots of conversations about this and think it must be clearly defined and should be easily understood in terms of the way that schools currently operate. It should be integrated into existing targets, accountability measures and planning too.

Through our consultation on our key asks we’ve come up with some core principles for what we think we will work.

Core principles for Arts Premium

An Arts Premium should be structured to actively support schools to meet the requirements of the new Ofsted Framework, using the language of Intent, Implementation and Impact; broad and balanced curriculum; and the delivery of Cultural Capital.

We believe the Arts Premium should fund:

  • Curriculum intent
    The Premium should build teachers’ understanding of pedagogy. It should focus on training and on developing arts leaders at all levels within schools.
  • Curriculum design and development
    The Premium should be used for arts curriculum development, and to facilitate the co-creation of a school’s vision statement and working practices with arts specialists and stakeholders including young people.
  • Delivery of provision
    Premium funds should be used to build strategic partnerships with artists and cultural organisations. Appropriate signposting for schools who lack expertise in this area will be needed, Artsmark is one possible method. The Premium should be used to offer sustained, high-quality opportunities for young people to experience, participate and progress in arts subjects, and for purchasing arts materials and equipment.

The CLA will continue to work with colleagues on developing our recommendations and share them with government. Do let us know your thoughts on how the money could best be spent.


2 Replies to "Secondary Arts Premium confirmed in Budget"

  1. It’s really great that your advocacy has seen actual results. I would also make a suggestion/recommendation that all schools should be actively involved in their Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) and feeding their plans for SSAP to the LCEP to measure or undertake quality assurance through the bridge organisation.

  2. It would be fantastic if a significant proportion of the funds could be used to enable more young people in secondary schools to begin or continue learning to play a musical instrument, thus building stronger musical communities within schools, and potentially leading to more students taking GCSE and A level music and eventually studying music at HE level.

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