In a recent House of Lords debate, 17 January, and raised by The Earl of Clancarty, the Government was asked: 'What steps they are taking to encourage the teaching of art and design in schools.'
Briefed by NSEAD and in support of NSEAD's challenge on bursary inequalities, The Earl of Clancarty, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education specifically asked:
'My Lords, from the decline in arts teaching in primary schools, as described in a new Fabian Society report, to the EBacc’s exclusion of the arts, students are increasingly not receiving the balanced education that they deserve and is necessary for the future of our creative industries. Art and design is under the additional pressure of not attracting ITE bursaries, unlike other subjects which exceed their trainee targets. Will the Government address that unfairness?'
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education Lord Agnew of Oulton replied:
'My Lords, we clearly need to prioritise our bursaries budget so that we can incentivise applications in subjects where it is hardest to attract applicants. The vacancy rate, though, for art and design teachers as a percentage of teachers in post is lower than for music; indeed, over the last two years we have seen an increase in the number of applicants for both art and design and drama.'
Identifying the impact of funding, in real terms, on arts education, The Lord Bishop of London asked:
'My Lords, high-quality arts education as part of a broad curriculum has been shown not just to support our creative industries but to improve academic achievement and enable children to look at problems in different ways. In the light of Ofsted’s consultation on its new framework, which looks at quality, intent and impact in the curriculum, will the Minister say how this Government will ensure that there is no reduction in pupil funding in real terms? Good art education requires good teachers.'
Lord Watson of Invergowrie (Lab) cited Fabian Society's Primary Colours report, and evidenced the Ebacc's impact and squeeze in state schools on the arts subjects:
'My Lords, I am pleased to hear from the Minister that Ofsted is to look at this, because arts subjects are compulsory in the national curriculum only at key stages 1 to 3. As the noble Earl said, referring to the Fabian Society report, even there they are in decline. Arts subjects in state schools are being squeezed out by the English baccalaureate, yet the artistic, creative and technical sectors of the economy are worth around £500 billion a year and need just such skills in our young people. Will the Minister accept that the English baccalaureate is the problem here, not the issues he raised previously? Will he commit to fundamentally changing that so that—as the noble Lord, Lord Addington, said—the broader curriculum can be performed, allowing us to serve the future needs of our economy?'
NSEAD is challenging the DfE's ITE recruitment targets and will be asking why year-on-year there are subjects which over recruit, yet still receive a bursary. And ion behalf of our ITE members, we will now be challenging Lord Agnew's claims and justification for the inequalities in subject bursaries.
Read all questions and responses to this Hansard report here.
17 Jan 2019