Following the recently proposed 50 percent cuts to higher education arts courses, Sharon Hodgson MP, in her role as Chair of The All-Party-Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education has written to Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education,
Sharon Hodgson's letter explains that the proposals explain the impact of the proposal on both individuals, universities and why these proposals will impact detrimentally on the Government's so called 'levelling up' of communities. The letter states:
'Your proposals to reduce funding by £121.40 per head for courses in price group C1, which further to art and design includes dance, music, drama, media studies and archaeology, will equate to a funding cut of 50 percent in the subsidy to these specialist subjects.
While these courses, being specialist, can be more costly to run than other subject areas, halving the amount spent to fund such courses would be catastrophic and could prove existential for many subject areas.
The consequences of these plans will undoubtedly be wide reaching, as 65% of creative sector employees are educated to degree level. The plans to halve funding of university arts education will adversely affect students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, reserving arts subjects for more affluent students.
The benefits of art education go beyond the culture industry, too, contributing to technological developments ranging from science, healthcare, and engineering to the gaming industry. In developing your Department’s strategic priorities we hope that the less obvious successes of arts education are considered.
Modern British culture is something we all depend on in some form or other. The pause to many creative industries across the last year has proved how vital the arts are, being one of the parts of normal life we have missed the most.
The effects of this set of cuts will be devastating, possible reversing decades of hard work and effort to diversify the creative industries.
The APPG joins the Contemporary Visual Art Network and the many voices from the creative sector, education system and further in urging you to reconsider these plans, to ensure the long-term success of the British creative industries and recognise that art is essential.'
Sharon supports the growing campaign to the nationwide #ArtIsEssential campaign led by Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) and supported by NSEAD.
Download Sharon's letter to Gavin Williamson here.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education, of which Sharon has been a chair since it's formation in 2013, is a cross-party parliamentary group which cross-party group which is run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords. NSEAD is the secretariat. The APPG for Art, Craft and Design in Education meets in Westminster a minimum of once per term.