This month we bring you a round-up of last month's party conference activity, Nicky Morgan's recent speech on STEM, a new education manifesto from the Crafts Council, opportunities from the BFI, Mighty Creatives and Siobahn Davies, inspiration from the RSA, consultation requests from Arts Council, this round of the PE and Sport Premium, and our congratulations to the Clore Duffield Foundation on it’s 50th birthday.
Party conference season
September and October is party conference season, and with only 6 months until the general election in May 2015, all parties have been working to develop manifesto commitments (read some of the commitments the CLA wants to see here).
At the Labour party conference the Labour Arts Alliance hosted a fringe meeting ‘Art Makes Children Powerful’ with a panel chaired by Dave Moutrey of HOME and including Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
The discussion covered topics including; careers advice for young people and routes in to arts careers, how organisations enable young people to have a say in their running, and the importance of supporting teachers to provide arts experiences for their students. Our favourite line of the day was from Harriet Harmon: ‘We want a kick ass offer on the arts in our manifesto’.
At the Conservative Party conference an afternoon of fringe events was hosted by the Conservative Arts and Creative Industries Network (CACIN). This included a panel discussion ‘Creative Skills: STEM to STEAM’. Chaired by Damian Collins MP, Chairman of CACIN, the discussion included compelling examples of arts practice in arts and school settings. John Newbigin of Creative England made the case for STEAM - stating ‘If we don’t have parity of esteem for arts, sciences and technology in education we all suffer'.
At a reception to finish the afternoon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy said that the government has recognised the importantance of STEAM.
However, despite this great endorsement, we were extremely disappointed this week to see the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, make a speech this week urging young people to choose science and maths courses over arts courses. In it she failed to acknolweldge and promote the creativity and innovation that is inherent in arts learning, and which is so highly prized by employers. We are writing to Nicky this week with the evidence and arguments for cultural learning and we urge colleagues across the alliance to do the same.
At the Liberal Democrat party conference Baroness Bonham-Carter and John Leech MP hosted a Creative Industries Summit discussing skills, diversity and IP and the Lib Dem creative industries mini manifesto ahead of the General Election.
PE and Sport Premium
Last week the government announced details of a new injection of £150 million into the school sport pupil premium for primary schools. It’s clear that this investment is making a real difference to both the quality and the amount of physical activity in schools and so we applaud the government but call for parity for the arts – an arts pupil premium to match this would boost attainment, wellbeing and creativity in children across the country.
Crafts Council launch Education Manifesto
Did you know that Craft currently contributes £3.4 billion to the economy and over 150,000 people across the UK deploy craft skills within a number of industries including fashion, film, medicine and engineering? Despite this, in the last five years participation in craft-related GCSEs fell by 25% and the number of higher education craft courses fell by 46%.
To counter this decline the Crafts Council have launched this manifesto – which is chock-full of pledges for schools, cultural organisations and government to take up.
Creativity belongs to everyone!
Have you taken a look at this great new short from the RSA’s Matthew Taylor on the Power to Create? Watch it with your school, company or family.
We also enjoyed reading Vikki Heywood (chair of the RSA)’s blog ‘Every child should have an education in arts and culture’ where she argues that a strong cultural education is vital for the UK’s social and economic future.
BFI screen writing academy for 16-19 year olds
The BFI is looking for 25 of the most talented and committed young writers living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to take part in an intensive residential training programme that could kick-start a career in the film industry.
For more details and how to apply see www.bfiyoungscreenwriters.co.uk. Deadline is the 1 December.
East Midlands Annual Arts and Education conference
Check out the East Midlands Mighty Creatives Annual Education Conference on the 24 November - exploring art, design and creativity.
Primary teachers Dance CPD
Responsible for Dance in a Primary School? Take a look at the Siobhan Davies autumn CPD workshops aimed at developing skills and confidence in teaching dance.
Teacher? Work in cultural education?
Help Arts Council understand how teachers find and use digital resources by filling in this survey. The results will be used to help cultural organisations make better resources for educators
Congratulations to Clore!
To celebrate its 50th anniversary the Clore Duffield Foundation has supported a number of fantastically exciting new initiatives - including 10 new Clore Learning Spaces, taking the number across the UK to 50. The new donations span urban and rural locations, large and small organisations from fossil collections to art, craft, ballet and music and the Foundation’s first within a school.
Last week the Foundation also gave 8 special awards to alumni of its social and cultural leadership programmes – many of which are designed to support and extend brilliant learning projects. The winners of the top prize of £100,000 were Clore Fellows Jamie Beddard and Claire Hodgson, founders of Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s only permanent integrated circus company, made up equally of disabled and non-disabled performers. In 2015, the company will change people’s lives in five UK cities, establishing an integrated youth performance company for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and with mixed physical abilities, embedding the company’s work in the community for years to come.