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Arts will become ‘playground for the rich’ unless culture is embedded in schools – Equity

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A campaign to promote the inclusion of the arts in education is being developed by Equity to prevent the industry becoming “a playground for the rich”.

Members voted unanimously to pass a motion from the Liverpool and District General Branch asking Equity to work with other trade unions, arts organisations and educators to “promote the essential nature of arts in the curriculum”.

Proposing the motion, branch chair Martin Williams said the industry risks “becoming a playground of the rich” if some school children are excluded from creative subjects.

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He said: “The arts should be a vital and essential part of any curriculum, but sadly their existence across curricula at all levels is at risk.

“I commend the union for supporting the Bacc for the Future campaign in the statement that was put out, […] but I’d welcome continued participation in that campaign and others like it.

“I’ve spoken to members who aren’t aware that creative subjects are at risk in schools, which means we need to do a bit more.”

Members at the ARC also unanimously voted in favour of a similar motion from the Devon and Cornwall branch, recognising the campaign work on the issue to date by Equity’s Young Members Committee but calling on the union to explore further opportunities to advocate for the arts in schools.

The motions were passed as concerns continue to be raised about the decline of arts education in schools.

In March, MPs called on the English Baccalaureate to include the arts.

For more coverage of the Equity Annual Representative Conference 2019, click here.

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