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Access to culture for young people (1)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Jennette Arnold Jennette Arnold Labour

Research, including last year from the House of Commons Digital, Culture Media and Sport Committee, has found that schools are being forced to cut their cultural and arts programmes. What discussions have you had with the Secretary of State for Education on this, and what are you doing from within City Hall to support London’s schools to continue this vital activity?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

I wrote to the Secretary of State in August 2019 to outline my education priorities.

I’m very concerned that arts and cultural provision is declining in schools and that uptake of creative GCSEs has fallen by 38% since 2010. Creative subjects give young people valuable skills that benefit them both academically and socially, as well providing the skills that employers want. That’s why I’m doing all I can to ensure children have access to creative learning opportunities in school and out.

School engagement is central to my London Borough of Culture programme; during Waltham Forest’s year, every school in the borough took part. My annual Fourth Plinth Schools Awards receive entries from school children in every London borough, this year seeing a record 4,500 pupils take part.

My London Curriculum programme works with cultural institutions to connect schools to London’s people, places and history through culture. Free teacher resources support music, dance and art subjects and I have recently launched two new resources focusing on the South Bank’s cultural offer and London’s thriving fashion industry.