Today’s Education in the media blog looks at a funding boost for arts education and Government support for the Open University.
Music, dance and drama
Today, Tuesday 10 April, new funding to support talented music, drama and dance pupils to realise their potential and kick-start a career in the arts has been announced by the School Standards Minister Nick Gibb. This is a further investment in the arts following the recent announcement of substantial funding for music hubs.
This has been reported in the Mirror, and Minister Gibb was interviewed on Good Morning Britain and will appear on BBC 5 Live later today.
The additional £96m takes the total level of support for music and arts programmes to £496 million since 2016. It will give pupils across the country access to a range of cultural opportunities including:
- Training at the world-famous Royal Ballet School in London;
- Film-making classes at the BFI Film Academy;
- Free opportunities to study art and design at their local college or university; and
- Visits to museums and galleries, using quality resources to support their classroom teaching.
The arts play an important part in the broad and balanced curriculum on offer for pupils, with almost half of all pupils choosing to take at least one arts GCSE last year through subjects such as music, dance, drama or art and design.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
The UK has a strong cultural heritage. We have always nurtured creative talent in this country and have a rich history of world famous musicians, actors and dancers.
For many, this journey starts at school, which is why it is important we support them from the beginning.
This funding will give more young people the opportunity to develop their talents and help world-famous institutions discover the next generation’s Billy Elliot.
Arts subjects are an important part of our broad and balanced curriculum, and thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers, academic standards are rising with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.
Further to yesterday’s coverage about a fall in part-time students attending the Open University, the Daily Mail has launched a new campaign to save the institution.
We have been addressing this issue for some time. One of the first things Minister Sam Gyimah did in his role as Universities Minister was to declare his support for the Open University through a tweet. The government has provided £48m to support teaching in 2017/18 at the Open University, including funds to support part time students.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
One of the first things I did as Universities Minister was to declare my support for the Open University and their important work to increase the opportunities available for accessing higher education, including to support lifelong learning. The government has provided £48m to support teaching in 2017/18 at the Open University, including funds to support part time students.
My priority is to ensure that all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, mature and part-time learners, can benefit from higher education if they want to do so – the access we’ve given everyone to tuition fees and the introduction of maintenance loans for part-time students aims to do exactly that.
But I recognise there has been a decline in the number of older and part time students applying to go to university and this is something I am concerned about. The review of post-18 education and funding will look at this issue and how we can encourage learning that is more flexible to support more people to study at different times in their lives.