Arts: Secondary Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th March 2016.

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Photo of Ruth Cadbury Ruth Cadbury Labour, Brentford and Isleworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to (a) promote the study of creative subjects in secondary schools and (b) address the skills shortage in the UK creative industry sector.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

All schools are required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. The Government recognises that creative arts are an integral part of a child’s education. They develop skills that are important to our economy and help prepare children for adult life.

The national curriculum sets out our expectations of what pupils should be taught and we have reformed GCSE and A level qualifications in a range of subjects, including art and design, music, drama, dance and design & technology. We have made significant changes in particular to design and technology, making this a better preparation for young people to progress into careers in a wide range of engineering and design fields.

Our reforms to technical and vocational education incentivise schools and colleges to teach only those qualifications that meet rigorous quality criteria, develop the skills and knowledge that employers need and enable young people to progress into employment. For 16-18 year olds this includes qualifications in creative subjects that will equip them to apply for a range of jobs in the creative industries.

In November, the Government announced further reforms to technical and professional education that will simplify the skills system and ensure it is understood and valued by employers. The Government will simplify and streamline the number of qualifications so that individuals have a clear set of routes which allow for progression into skilled employment. An independent panel, chaired by Lord Sainsbury, is developing proposals for these reforms and they will report to Government this spring‎.

In December 2014, the Secretary of State announced funding for a new careers and enterprise company. This employer-led, independent company is strengthening links between employers, schools and colleges and careers and enterprise organisations to inspire young people, assisting them with taking control of their own futures and helping to address skills shortages. The provision of high-quality careers guidance for all young people is a key part of this Government’s commitment to delivering real social justice.

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