Arts cuts could cause ‘creativity crisis’ in schools

Labour has warned that schools in England face a ‘creativity crisis’ with the number of creative arts students and teachers down by as much as a fifth in some subjects.

According to the opposition party, pupils’ engagement in the creative arts is considered by many to be a key factor in their recovery from the pandemic yet specific government funding for music, arts and cultural programmes will equate to just £9.40 per pupil this year.

Labour analysis of government data shows that the number of GCSE music and drama students has fallen by a fifth over the last decade. Additionally, one in seven music teachers and one in eight art and design teachers have left the profession.

Peter Kyle, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, said that the government’s refusal to back school arts threatened children’s recovery from the pandemic and the country’s future prosperity.

He said: “Parents across the country want their kids to thrive and to bounce back stronger than ever from this pandemic. Pupils want to draw, act and sing – and through doing that, they’ll make friends and develop their creativity.

“After a decade of failure on school arts, the Conservatives are out of step with parents’ priorities. Labour is calling on ministers to back our children’s recovery plan, and fund the activities all children need to learn, play and develop. Our kids, as well as the economy of tomorrow, can’t wait.”

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