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TALE, a research project investigating the benefits of arts education published its findings


Tracking Arts Engagement and Learning, TALE, is a three-year longitudinal research project which has investigated arts education in secondary and special schools.

The project partners, The Royal Shakespeare Company (Education), Tate (School and Teachers team), and The University of Nottingham, say they ‘joined together to examine the benefits of taking arts and education seriously'. The TALE project gathered 6000 responses from young people aged 14-18 in secondary and special schools around England.’

The project has produced a summary of findings and recommendations, called: 'Time to Listen'.

The report's authors say: ‘It is time to listen to why arts and culture in schools matters to young people.’

‘Young people tell us that arts and culture rich schools enhance their lives now, and prepare them for life after school.

'Young people tell us that arts and cultural learning in school is significantly different because: in arts lessons they have more agency, responsibility, independence and freedom to make decisions. They enjoy and are motivated by this.

‘In arts lessons they have more agency, responsibility, independence and freedom to make decisions. They enjoy and are motivated by this’

The report goes on to explain: ‘What defines an arts and culture rich school, and what makes this possible.

The report identifies five ‘important’ barriers that prevent schools becoming arts and culture rich:

The way school performance is measured

Universities promote the idea of ‘facilitating subjects’

Recent changes to the examination system

Pressure of time and budgets

A historical legacy of divisions between arts and science subjects.

The TALE report, which explains its methodologies and in-depth findings, identifies and makes explicit what needs to change:

1. All secondary schools should be able to:
a) Ensure that at KS3 the arts have parity with other subjects
b) Offer a full range of arts subjects at KS4 (GCSE)
c) Confidently talk to students and their families about the value of studying arts subjects.

2. The Ofsted process should ensure the breadth and balance of the school curriculum by specifying in the inspection framework the minimum proportion of curriculum time to be spent studying arts subjects at KS3, and the range of arts subjects which should be offered at KS4.

3. There should be an Arts and Culture Premium for all children in schools.

4. Russell Group universities should review their approach to Facilitating Subjects, recognising that studying arts subjects can provide young people with an essential foundation for further study.

5. There should be acknowledgement and appropriate reward in both pay scale and job title for the work of teachers who take on the essential role of ‘arts broker.’

The full TALE report with methodology can be read here

Following on from the findings of the report TATE shots, asked leading artists, actors, filmmakers, architects and choreographers why art should be on the curriculum. This powerful film explains Why study art? Watch the video here

18 Oct 2018