dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Ed Vaizey defends government’s divisive education policy

Culture minister Ed Vaizey. Photo: Tom Donald Ed Vaizey. Photo: Tom Donald
by -

Arts minister Ed Vaizey has defended the government’s education policy, despite continued concern from the creative sector over the future of arts in schools.

Vaizey said arts education was “probably the number one issue that is raised” in his discussions with the arts sector, but said he disagreed with arguments that the government was neglecting creative subjects.

“A lot of people in this room feel that the arts don’t get enough attention in schools, particularly following changes to the national curriculum – the English Baccalaureate and [performance measure] Progress 8. I would challenge the arts sector, and I do regularly challenge them on this,” he told an audience at UK Theatre’s annual conference.

Vaizey continued: “I go to a lot of different schools and I say we do make the arts extremely prominent. I think some of the changes, and some of what we might see on the ground, is down to individual head teachers. I know plenty of schools that still offer a rich arts curriculum, despite the curriculum changes. They weren’t designed to remove the arts, or ban the arts from being taught.”

He added: “I’m not saying that it’s all down to the head teacher, but I’m not saying that it’s all down to the government either.”

It comes as the Department for Education moves forward with plans for the EBacc, which comprises a number of compulsory subjects for GCSE students but does not require pupils to take a creative subject.

Earlier this week, the latest exam entry figures recorded a 4% drop in the number of students taking GCSE drama in 2016.

There have also been declining numbers for performing/expressive arts, music, media, film and TV studies, art and design, and design and technology.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

loading...
^