The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced a major new conference for teachers, advocating the importance of creative learning.
The event will feature keynote speeches from artist Bob and Roberta Smith, Andria Zafirakou, who won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize in 2018, and professor of creative education Jonothan Neelands from Warwick Business School.
Titled Towards a Creative Curriculum, the conference is a partnership between Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning and the RS – the first time either organisation has held such an event.
Aimed at teachers from early years to Key Stage 3, it will explore the impact of arts and cultural learning on young people, and how creative teaching can support the new Ofsted framework.
It is set against growing concerns about shrinking arts education in the UK. Last month, leaders from some of of England’s biggest producing theatres warned that school trips were being cut, arts teachers made redundant and creativity scaled back.
RSC education director Jacqui O’Hanlon said the event would demonstrate how arts in schools could equip young people with the skills they need for their careers.
She said: “There’s a clear mismatch between the skills that leading educators and policymakers know young people will need in the future, and the messages and opportunities that today’s students are being offered. We need to address this as a matter of urgency.”
It follows the RSC’s 2018 report, Time to Listen, which analysed 6,000 young people’s experiences of and attitudes to arts in schools.
The RSC said the conference, in January 2020, would offer learning opportunities for teachers to bolster their knowledge of arts-based learning. It will also provide a platform to share best practice, include workshops led by experts in creative writing, drama, dance, music, visual art and Shakespeare.