Arts ‘not valuable’ ?

Vikki Heywood, the chairman of the Royal Society of Arts, warns of a perception that arts subjects will not “be of value to you in your future life”.

Ministers have helped to drive pupils away from arts subjects because of a belief they are not “of value”, the chairman of the Royal Society of Arts warned. Vikki Heywood, a former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said interest in subjects such as drama, art and music was waning because of a “current rhetoric” among parents and the Government that they are “not useful to you in your life after education”…

Claiming that there is “absolutely no joined–up thinking” on arts policies in Britain, Mrs Heywood will warn against claims by ministers that the national curriculum is being “rebalanced” in favour of “high–value subjects”.

“The drop in desire to study many arts subjects has been caused directly as a result of the perception by parents and the current Government that these are not subjects that will be of value to you in your future life,” she said.

She will also disclose plans for a possible GCSE or “double GCSE” in the arts. “The introduction of a double GCSE award for sciences made the subjects “a lot less daunting”, she said. “I think the arts need to learn a lesson from that initiative, which I think is a very clever one and a very good one.”

I’m not going to lie but this isn’t new, subjects have been falling by the wayside for years. Take PE as the most obvious example. With so many subjects being crammed into our curriculum now ranging from the core subjects to RE, Music, PE, D+T and the Arts, subjects aren’t going to get the time of day. It is a shame but that is the unfortunate nature of how our schools are run. Non-core subjects will constantly be under pressure to justify their existence and some subjects simply will not make it. In my experience, the Arts are the most common subjects to be ruled out.


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