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Royal Albert Hall calls for compulsory arts GCSEs

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Lucy Noble, Artistic and Commercial Director of the Royal Albert Hall, has today written to the Government urging it to make the learning of a creative art compulsory for GCSE students.

The letter, addressed to Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds, argues that school children in England and Wales should each take at least one creative subject until the age of 16 – specifically drama, music, art, design or dance.

This comes in response to statistics which show an alarming decline in the prevalence of creative arts subjects in schools at GCSE level.

According to the most recent report by qualifications regulator Ofqual, the number of students taking a creative art GCSE has fallen by 51,000 in the past year, contributing to a drop of 26 per cent over the past five years. This means that arts subjects now only account for one in 12 of all GCSEs taken, a drop from one in eight in 2014.

The letter argues that Britain’s creative output will suffer if arts-rich education in schools continues to falter. The creative industries accounts for £92 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK’s economy and is responsible for two million jobs. This could be under threat if young, creative talent is not nurtured according to Ms Noble.

Separate research commissioned by the Royal Albert Hall has revealed a gap in student demand for technical arts education and schools’ ability to provide it. The statistics show that less than a third (29 per cent) of schools in the UK offer lessons in technical production, despite one in five (21 per cent) students identifying it as an area that they would be interested in pursuing as a career.




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