On Tuesday 10 April, Nick Gibb MP, Schools Minister announced £96 million of funding to support talented music, drama and dance pupils, under the umbrella of ‘arts’.
What was a little less clear, is the funding for art, craft and design which somehow missed the headlines but could be found lurking in the text as: 'Free opportunities for talented pupils to study art and design at their local college or university and visits to museums and galleries'.
And, of course we welcome the Department for Education’s announcement of funding that ensures talented pupils are able to pursue opportunities in the arts. We would however, welcome even more, an inclusive approach for all young people to have access to the arts.
What we continue to ask the DfE, is to understand the impact of funding cuts on materials, and the impact of a ‘two-tier’ EBacc driven curriculum, on the time and value given to art, craft and design in the classroom.
The EBacc reduces opportunities in schools for pupils to participate in the arts, and for teachers to access subject specific professional development. The funding is welcome, but not an answer to a curriculum drained of culture.
In response to the announcement Lesley Butterworth, NSEAD general secretary, said: 'We need to understand how this meaningfully factors into the classroom, to support art, craft and design teachers who continue their amazing work in the face of cuts in budgets, curriculum time and a lack of value given to our subject.'