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The Arts are being cut from Education now :(


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Dear All,

I received this petition from Richard Wilson:

The expressive arts, including drama, music, fine art, dance and photography are the lifeblood of our nation and our identity. From Shakespeare to Danny Boyle, via every other author, artist, actor, comedian, playwright, sculptor, architect, rock band, director, dancer, composer, journalist, choreographer… the expressive arts contribute to how the world sees us. The creative industries are vital to our economy. According to UNESCO the UK is the world’s largest exporter of cultural goods. This is achieved with a tax payer investment which is 0.1 percent of the recent HBOS bailout. Not only that, with this tax payer investment we generate more economic activity than tourism, and we do this without a bonus culture, and without a ‘talent drain’. 6.2% of the UK’s local income (GVA) comes from the creative industries, the arts provide over 2m jobs and are mentioned by 8 out of 10 tourists as a reason for their visit.

However, Michael Gove and the coalition government have set in place policies which marginalise the arts, restrict access to arts courses by children and which will, over time, threaten the future of our artistic success story. They include:

• The EBacc, a measure that excludes all arts subjects, as well as technical subjects, compelling all schools to restrict access to arts courses or risk failing on a league table. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20356662. Here is a more recent article in which, amongst other things, Mike Nicholson, the admissions tutor for Oxford University, states clearly that they look for a broad range of subjects at GCSE level and do not consider the EBacc at all: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24533511
• Dance and drama being classed as one subject on school league tables, meaning that students will be dissuaded from taking both subjects as it makes the school look bad, this is despite the proven fact that performing arts colleges in the FE and HE sector are often looking for the triple threat of a student with dance, drama and music experience. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24130657 
• The removal of standards for speaking and listening from the national curriculum, at all key stages, meaning that schools are no longer compelled to teach or assess a student’s ability to do either of those things. 
• The dominance of negative rhetoric about arts subjects as not “rigorous” when students up and down the country know how hard so many of their courses are. An A* student of Drama & Theatre Studies has to be both highly academic and creative and talented. How many students can lay claim to that?

Here's the final insult. Now it transpires that Ofqual are consulting about banning up to 20, so called, "soft" subjects from the GCSE standard, subjects including PE and Media as well, so that all students are left to choose from as GCSEs are traditional subjects and the rest as devalued and less academic alternative qualifications. http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/new ... 2013_10_26

We want an end to this short sighted, Orwellian drive to force the arts from our children’s schools before we drive creativity, passion and enjoyment from our primary and secondary schools.

We demand the abolition of the EBacc measure or the inclusion of the arts within it.

We demand that all arts subjects be given equal billing with other, non-core subjects in terms of how they contribute to school league tables for GCSE results.

We want all our children to have continued access to a wide and exciting curriculum, without restrictions being placed on subjects which are just ideologically out of favour with the current ruling elite of public school educated professional politicians.

We want the national curriculum for Key Stages 1-4 to reinstate explicit descriptors for speaking and listening.

We want Gove, the DfE and the government to acknowledge the importance of the cultural industry to our national identity and to our economy and to talk up the importance of the arts in our schools and our country.

In solidarity with our colleagues in PE departments, teachers of Media Studies and teachers of the miriad other, so-called, soft subjects, we also demand that this regressive and ridiculous narrowing of school curiculi, by mesuring schools' success only by the core and facilitating subjects, ends immediately.

Join in on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the ... 3149402485

Read the blog: http://savetheartsinschools.wordpress.com/page/3/


I just signed the petition "Michael Gove: Stop the marginalisation of the Expressive Arts in education policy" on Change.org.

It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/m ... e_petition



Please sign and share before Michael Gove does more damage!

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Same here!

It's all very strange. Not long ago there was talk at relaxing some of the National Curriculum demands at Junior level so that more arts subjects could be included as it was thought they had been neglected over the last ten years or so. So I thought things were about to move forward slowly again in this respect but it seems not if this is what is happening at secondary level then.

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I find this whole issue reprehensible.  I know schools should teach practical subjects that will help people find jobs but the arts feed the soul and we need that as much as practical skills for life.  PE and sport is just as important too.


I've signed the petition and shared on twitter too.

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I despair of the current educational changes, and so do most of the teachers I know.

My children's primary school holds an Artsmark Gold award and provides a remarkable range of opportunities for it's pupils across a wide variety of art forms. The learning opportunities that the arts offer go far beyond the actual skil being taught. My youngest son's class had their first go at african drumming this afternoon and he has come home full of information about the culture, dress and language of the teacher's homeland. Not to mention the team working aspect of things like that. My other son has a friend who has autism and struggles to express himself verbally - but he can draw his feelings.

I chose schools for my children on the basis that I want them to grow up as well rounded articulate individuals and feel strongly that the arts, sport and other non technical subjects are vital to a rounded education. And I speak as a scientist.

I really hope that this trend can be overturned. I am immensely grateful to the teachers at my children's schools who continually go more than the extra mile to keep the curriculum as broad and stimulating as possible but I do wonder how long they can keep it up in the face of current government policy.

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Have signed.


I feel so so privileged that my 2 children received 3 years of free musical instrument lessons at primary school. I don't think they would have agreed to lessons outside school at that stage (and all our money was going on dance and drama classes). They now both play in a school orchestra and when my son doesn't have the time to audition/ rehearse/perform on stage in certain productions, he opts to be a musician for them instead, which he finds immensely satisfying.


In an ideal world all dancers would learn a musical instrument. When I watch my son playing his, I see the dancer in him still - he lives the music, performing it with wholehearted concentration (and a little sway, and some foot tapping :rolleyes: ). We all spend a fortune on the dance lessons, so to have had the free start on musical instrument lessons was brilliant, but it was also the school timetabling it and expecting it of the children which made the difference for us. I wish current primary school children could benefit in the same way.

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Music tuition used to be very good going back to pre National Curriculum days in London and before the Inner London Education Authority broke up.

There was a school Orchestra in a very ordinary Primary in north London. Children were given free lessons on various instruments.

There was also a lot of sport and inter school matches and the like and there was no question of there not being any Art in the school week. The children generally had:- one PE ; one Games; one Dance; and one Drama a week. As well as the general instrument music going on each class had a music lesson each week(Karl Orff was still in the consciousness then!) not just singing even!!


Looking back now almost seems like a Golden Age....at least where the Arts were concerned!


In those days I think it was more the Sciences which suffered...though not Maths.....that has always been with English an integral part of the curriculum. So certainly was not perfect by any means.

But for me somewhere in the early 90's Education lost it's way a bit. Some things certainly needed tightening up for sure but I think it's nearly thrown the baby out with the bath water.


Of course nobody could have predicted the fast speed of technological progress and there are still some really wonderful things going on in schools so maybe it was time for the Sciences to get a bit of a push......but for me its more the overall philosophy and approach in Education today which is disappointing.

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