Education policies 'risk stifling creativity'

Artistic expression among school pupils is being left to die by the government's education reforms, say leading artists

Creativity in UK schoolchildren risks being stifled by the government's education policies, a coalition of leading artists, entrepreneurs and educationalists has warned.

In a letter to the Observer, the group, which includes the actor Sir Patrick Stewart and film-maker Lord David Puttnam, says it is vital that the skills of the next generation are nurtured to ensure that the UK's strong creative industries continue to create jobs.

The group says that current policies appear to be heading in the wrong direction. "We are concerned that recent developments, including the phasing out of teaching grants for arts degrees, send out the wrong message.

"We urge ministers to adopt policies which will ensure that creativity is at the heart of what our education offers."

They add: "For many young people, their passion for learning is ignited when they're provided with the opportunity to express themselves."

Ivan Lewis, shadow culture, media and sport secretary, said the group was sending a clear message: "Supporting creativity should be an integral part of striving for the highest educational standards. It is also central to the future success of our economy and society.

"Education reform rooted in high standards must ensure young people are supported to develop their creative talent and prepared for the opportunities of the digital age. David Cameron should not allow ill-conceived ideology to trump the national interest."


Toby Helm, political editor

The GuardianTramp

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