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Education in the media: Tuesday 30 January 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Creative Arts, Curriculum, School spending


Today’s Education in the Media looks at recent reports on creative arts subjects and school funding.

Creative arts subjects

Today, Tuesday 30 January, the BBC published the results of their survey of creative arts provision in secondary schools in England.

The findings claim that more than a third of schools have made cuts to timetabled lessons in at least one arts subject – which includes Drama, Art, Design and Technology and Music – in the last 5 years.

We believe all pupils should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education, and the arts are central to this.

In maintained schools, music and art and design are compulsory subjects and although academies and free schools are not required to teach the national curriculum, they can use it as a benchmark. At key stage 4 all pupils in maintained schools have an entitlement to study an arts subject if they wish.

Pupils may also take part in a range of out-of-school activities funded by DfE, such as the music education hubs, Sorrell Foundation's National Art and Design Saturday Clubs or National Youth Music Organisations.

As the Education Secretary outlined in his speech at the Education World Forum, he believes that there are other work place skills that come from extra curricular activities and subjects that build character and resilience which he is keen to encourage as Secretary of State for Education.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We are investing £400 million of funding from 2016-20 for a diverse portfolio of music and arts education programmes designed to improve access to the arts for all children.

Music is a compulsory subject for all pupils in all maintained schools at key stage 3, and academies are also required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, which Ofsted consider in their inspections.

Since 2011, the proportion of pupils in state funded schools taking at least one arts subject has increased.

Read the Education Secretary’s speech from the Education World Forum here.

School Funding

Today, Tuesday 30 January, the campaign group Worth Less? issued a press notice stating that they will be writing to the Chancellor to invoice him for the money schools should be owed, due to disparities in the funding formula. This has been covered by the BBC Online and Daily Mirror.

The figures that Worth Less? are using are completely misleading. Our new national funding formula will mean that school funding will be distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country.

Our national funding formula makes sure that students who require more help get the funding they need for this. This is why our formula allocates extra funding for these characteristics, such as those eligible for free school meals, so schools teaching these pupils can give them the extra support they need to catch up.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The campaign’s calculations are thoroughly misleading, and ignore the fact that under our national funding formula, funding is based on the needs and characteristics of each individual school.

We are investing an additional £1.3 billion in school funding, over and above existing plans, with core schools funding rising from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion in 2019-20.

There are no cuts in funding. Every school will see an increase in funding through the formula from this year, and in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil, and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil.

Please read more about our music and arts investment here.

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