The government has finally published its long-awaited response to the English Baccalaureate consultation.
In this post we give you the headlines and what it means for cultural learning.
As part of the English Baccalaureate consultation response the Department for Education has published Trends in arts subjects in schools where English Baccalaureate entry has increased. The DfE has looked at 297 schools where the number of pupils entering EBacc subjects has increased, and asked if there were changes to the number of pupils entering at least one arts subject. They take 2011 as their baseline, not 2010, when the EBacc was introduced, and do not classify Design & Technology GCSE as an arts GCSE.
On 15 June Ofqual published its provisional figures for 2017 entries to GCSEs and A Levels. We will not know the final official numbers until August when the Joint Council for Qualifications publishes its data, but the picture continues to look bleak for entries to Arts GCSEs: a decline of 8% on last year’s entries and of 27% in entries in the same subjects since 2010.
This month we bring you news of manifesto asks; the new Durham Commission on Creativity and Education; condemnation of Free Schools policy by the Commons Public Accounts Committee; Arts Council England Tailored Review results; NUT and ATL survey results; a new DfE consultation on Primary assessment; the new Chair of Ofsted; and the Get Creative Weekend.
As we write the political parties are putting together their manifestos which we expect to be published in the next couple of weeks, in readiness for the general election on 8 June. There are a number of items which we would like to see included in the manifestos to protect and enhance children’s access to cultural learning and arts education in schools. Please flag up these actions when you speak to your local candidates and make sure they know how important children’s access to arts and culture is to you personally.
Over the last month we have seen a number of different pieces of evidence about the health of the arts in schools. They range from surveys from the Association of School and College Leaders and the Guardian Teacher Network, and research from the University of Sussex. Each paints a picture of retrenchment and cuts. But the New Schools Network report on the arts and the EBacc claims that arts uptake is flourishing.
This month the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond presented his final Spring Budget. This Budget heralds some big structural changes, particularly for education and learning, for freelancers and the self-employed and for Science and Innovation. Here’s our analysis of what it means for cultural learning.
The Cultural Learning Alliance welcomes Toby and Ed’s contribution to the wide-ranging national debate and analysis of the impact and purpose of the English Baccalaureate.
It is good to see both the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and the Department for Education actively engaged in this debate, and thinking deeply and seriously about the value of arts and culture to children and young people’s lives. We particularly welcome the joint statement that ‘Government strongly believes that the arts and culture should be for everyone and not just a privileged few. They are hugely valuable in and of themselves, and they have the potential to be forces for openness and social mobility’.
In the coming months it would be good to see government working on the development of policies that reflect this commitment, such as a shift from STEM to STEAM, and the inclusion of a creative industries education strand in the emerging Industrial Strategy.
Today we are pleased and excited to publish ImagineNation: the value of cultural learning. This new publication builds on our original ImagineNation: the case for cultural learning published in 2011, and sets out how studying arts and culture changes and shapes the lives of children and young people.
Despite the seismic implications of the European referendum, there has still been a great deal of activity in the cultural learning world over the last month. We bring you news of; the new Ofsted Chief and the outgoing words of current boss Michael Wilshaw; some new evidence, blogs and arguments for Cultural Learning from Arts Council England; new PISA plans for tests on cultural awareness; the opening of the new Tate Modern extension; great case studies from the RSC and from Yorkshire Dance; good news for cultural learning in Scotland; and the TES School Award winners.
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.
On 17 March, Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, published an Education White Paper: Educational Excellence Everywhere.
On 3 November Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, made a speech outlining the plans for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools, trailed in the summer. She also announced the opening of a consultation about how the plans will be implemented.
On Wednesday 14 October Arts Council England (ACE) launched a new national initiative: the Cultural Education Challenge.
This post tells you what it's all about, how you can get involved and what we make of it.
On the 16 July the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, made a speech at the Roundhouse to the Creative Industries Federation. She set out her vision for creative education and was joined by Minister of State for Education, Nick Gibb.
Here is our analysis…
You may remember Professor Dai Smith’s excellent review Arts in Education in the Schools of Wales in 2013, which included 12 recommendations the Welsh Government committed to delivering. They and the Arts Council of Wales have published the Arts and Creative Learning Plan and will be spending £20 million on its delivery over the next five years.
As we get nearer and nearer to the election and the politcial parties across the spectrum put the finishing touches to their manifestos, we thought we’d share with you again the most recent version of the document we’ve been using in our conversations.
This month we bring you good news for cultural learning in Wales, news of Bob and Roberta Smith standing for parliament and how to host a husting, the Lords debate on arts education, a new CEO of Arts Council, their Create magazine and something you probably already have a view on – ‘What do we mean by a good education’?
October brought us some really good news from the Department for Education: a large rise in the number of teacher training places for specialist arts teachers in Dance, Drama, Design and Technology and Art and Design. We are delighted that the government has listened to the sector on this issue and has implemented these changes – as the decline in the supply chain was a major concern for the CLA and our partners.
September the 8th was UNESCO’s International Literacy Day, with the organisation’s website urging colleagues across the world to recognise that Literacy is a key lever for change and social mobility, as well as highlighting projects in different nations. Here in the UK we have seen a great deal of activity; new research, celebrations and the launch of a number of campaigns aiming to get parents, carers and children reading.
As we reported in our last newsletter the Department of Education is currently running a consultation on GCSE and A Level Art & Design, Dance and Music subject content requirements. The documents on their website set out the minimum knowledge, skills and understanding required for GCSE and A Level qualifications. The awarding organisations use the subject content to create the actual qualifications and the consultation closes on the 17th of September.
This month we welcome everyone back for the Autumn term, and if you’re one of the teachers implementing the new school curriculum for the first time, we’d be really interested to hear how it’s going; especially in the cultural learning subjects. If you’re an artist or cultural organisation then do let us know if you’re developing new resources or practice around the new curriculum. This month the British Museum and the DfE launched online resources for teachers: ‘Teaching History in 100 objects’ and we’d love to hear of other initiatives of this kind.
Momentum for STEAM continues to build, both here and in the U.S., There will be breakout sessions at the Conservative conference on STEAM, and a great new STEAM map has been created by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In this bulletin we want to flag up some great STEAM opportunities which we’re developing through the British Science Association (BSA). CLA and the BSA are beginning to work together to investigate possible new partnerships involving the integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) with the Arts. The BSA recently completed a strategic review and the outcome is a new vision of the role of science in society, one of a future where science is seen as part of – rather than set apart from – culture and society at large. You can find out more here.
On Thursday 22 May there were local elections in England and Northern Ireland, and European elections for the whole country.
On April 9 Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education announced that Art & Design, Dance, Drama and Music GCSEs would be part of the suite of qualifications to be reformed ready for teaching from 2016.
Download Consultation Report on Arts Subjects at Key Stage 4.
Download this briefing.