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To: Justine Greening
Introduce National Arts in Education Week
Please introduce National Arts in Education Week in the UK
Why is this important?
National Arts in Education Week was introduced in the US in 2010, and passed by Congress, and is designed to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college- and career-ready students.
In the UK, with EBacc not containing creative subjects, uptake of arts subjects at GCSE level at the lowest level for a decade, the closure of some arts A Levels, including Creative Writing which comes to an end this year, and a decrease in University level uptake of arts courses, National Arts in Education Week would allow us to protect the important role arts education plays.
Research has shown the creative industries are the most rapidly growing sector of the British economy and with more jobs becoming automated, creativity is likely to become increasingly important.
Arts education has also been shown to help develop important skills such as idea generation, problem solving, and imagination – for example Congress’s resolution to create National Arts in Education week in the US states “arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline, alternative ways to communicate and express ideas, and cross- cultural understanding, which supports academic success across the curriculum as well as personal growth outside the classroom”.
Finally, National Arts in Education Week would also be important in terms of who goes on to work in the arts industry itself - the arts are a chance to reflect on who we are, who we were and who we can be and research has shown that those from backgrounds not connected to the arts are most likely to be put off studying arts subjects by EBacc and other recent developments and also that students who don’t study the arts at school are then less likely to study the arts at university level then less likely to pursue the arts as a career then less likely, when they have children, to encourage their children to pursue the arts, so developments like EBacc not including creative subjects are likely to have a long term impact on who our artists, writers, film-makers and other roles in the arts industry are.
For all of these reasons, it is important that National Arts in Education Week is introduced by the government in the UK.