Study of the Arts Crucial for Kids until the Age of 16

A recent report that was commissioned by the Government concludes that kids should learn the arts at least until the age of 16. The report also concludes that the three Rs receive too much attention and that the arts subjects are marginalised which has caused a great deal of concern among the leading UK’s artists.

The managing director of Classic FM, Darren Henley who was asked by the Government to review cultural education said that the Government should seriously consider including at least one of the cultural subjects into the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc). According to Henley, this will create a “generation of fully rounded individuals”. But according to the report, the new EBacc jeopardises the future of the arts in the UK schools. This is due to the fact that the pupils must receive at least C in five disciplines – English, math, science, foreign languages and history or geography to achieve the certificate. Henley’s report does not question the importance of these five subjects but it recommends for the EBacc to be expanded to include one of the arts – art, music, design, drama and film studies or to make the GCSE level compulsory.


Another conclusion of the report that caused concern among the cultural groups is that high quality cultural education is not universally accessible to all kids. The Education Secretary Michael Gove said that Britain has established an outstanding reputation in all segments of the arts but he also said that more children should be introduced to the world of arts. He said that some UK schools are providing their pupils with a wide range of opportunities to meet the arts both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. But he also said that not all kids have an equal access to culture. Those who come from low income families usually do not go to galleries, museum and theatres with their parents. The Education Secretary said that this is why it is crucial for the schools to provide all pupils an opportunity to experience high culture.

Recommendations of Henley’s Report

Besides recommending inclusion of the arts into the EBacc or making the GCSE mandatory, Henley’s report also recommends a series of other measures to make cultural education more consistent and universally accessible. Some of the key recommendations include: