House of Lords debates: Teacher Education: Arts, Crafts and Design; Arts and government support

The Earl of Clancarty, The APPG for Art, Craft and Design in Education vice-chair, has tabled two arts education related House of Lords debates:

Teacher Education: Arts, Crafts and Design, 28 November 2017

The Earl Clancarty began this initial teacher education focused debate with this question: ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to improve initial teacher education in order to ensure a high standard of teaching of art, craft and design subjects in schools.'

The Earl continued by citing Dr Rachel Payne’s Oxford Brookes research noting that the research bears out concerns that the closure of PGCE courses have impacted on networking and access to community-based practice.

Lord Agnew replied: 'My Lords, I agree with the noble Earl that a broad and balanced curriculum is an essential part of a child’s education. I am afraid that I have not seen the Oxford Brookes report but I reassure him that many schools buy-in the PGCE qualification to run alongside their own School Direct programme to enable students to benefit from this in addition to the practical emphasis of the school-based approach.’*

Lord Agnew also noted that the T-level programme and technical education, which will begin in two years’ time and would receive an additional half billion pounds a year of funding.

Lord Addington explained that the reduction in art and design teaching in schools would result in teacher trainees not gaining experience of this subject, unless it is taught in the classroom.

Lord Grade of Yarmouth asked for more assurances from the government that arts in classrooms are taught, especially, he stated: ‘if we are to maintain our position as one of the world-leading nations in contributing to the arts globally.’

To this Lord Agnew shared examples of extra-curricular funding given to dance and to music hubs. No mention was given to art and design.

Lord Watson sought re-assurances from the government that Labour’s proposed arts premium would be matched by present policies. The aim of the proposed premium, he explained, would be for arts facilities in state schools to match as near as possible those in many private schools.

Lord Cormack addressed the need and potential for our subject to better understand other cultures asking: ‘My Lords, does my noble friend agree that it is absolutely crucial, particularly after 2019, that both our teachers and our young people are kept alive to the glories of European civilisation in all its manifestations, and to the particular contribution that this country has made to them?’

Lord Agnew responded suggesting that the EBacc had brought ‘important subjects such as history’ back into the curriculum. To this NSEAD will respond: nobody it is true would deny that humanities subjects are important, but we would not agree that their importance exists at the expense or in place of the arts.

Read the full Hansard transcript here

Arts: Government Support

This earlier House of Lords debate took place 16 November.

The Earl Clancarty began this debate with this question: 'To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support the contemporary practice of the arts, including music, drama, dance and the visual arts.'

Read the full Hansard transcript here

*NSEAD notes that the reported ‘buy-in’ of PGCE qualifications that Lord Agnew reported to be running alongside school directs will need evidencing. We will be asking Lord Agnew to substantiate and provide examples that support this claim.

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