Following the Henley review of cultural education and its positive reflection of the arts in the national curriculum, UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has pledged more money for national academies – free schools – of dance and film.
Lizzie Crump runs the Cultural Learning Alliance, a collective of more than 7,000 interested parties who champion young people’s access to cultural learning. She believes that the report is wide-ranging and well considered, arguing for the “power and relevance of cultural education to young people and to our creative industries and economy.”
“There’s lots to applaud, particularly his emphasis on the need for every child to have access to cultural knowledge, skills and understanding (rather than just knowledge and facts) and there’s a welcome focus on partnership.”
Crump believes that the report echoes her organization’s ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning report. And she applauded the call for a national plan for cultural education, a call for cultural subjects to be included in the national curriculum and the English baccalaureate, and the creation of a new funding enterprise: the Cultural Education Partnership.
“This enterprise will act as a “single front door” to all lottery funding for cultural education and, for starters, membership of the group will include Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the British Film Institute, the Big Lottery Fund and English Heritage.”
The Cultural Learning Alliance made a number of recommendations to the review, which seems to have had an effect on the report. These recommendations manifested themselves in the plans for teaching schools to support and develop teacher training and professional development, the cross-ministerial working group for cultural education and the recommendation for cultural governors in schools.
“These are all pragmatic and tangible ways to support practitioners and partners on the ground, and are things we have long been advocating.”
In response to the report, Gove reacted positively saying that no one could call themselves educated unless they had culture and art running through their education. Therefore, he announced, the Department for Education has pledged a £15m investment in the area.
Gove also announced that the British Film Institute will be getting funding for a National Film Academy, there will be a National Dance Academy for 30 young people every year and English Heritage will be setting up a schools program.