Henley Report Champions Art Schools

The government-commissioned Henley report makes a number of recommendations tol make England’s cultural education ‘the envy of the world’. In particular, it calls on the government to continue and extend ‘exceptional funding’ for art, drama, and dance institutions.

The report argues that: ‘This sector of higher education trains creative arts leaders, artists and practitioners for the Creative and Cultural Industries, who also act as arts leaders and trainers within the school environment. Without practitioners and teachers at the highest level, the school sector will be unable to deliver the level of training which forms a crucial element of young people’s education and development.

‘These institutions also train many of the arts practitioners who gain international recognition for the UK in this area. I strongly urge the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education to ensure that long-term funding settlements are put in place to allow these institutions to continue to thrive.’

Education secretary Michael Gove and culture minister Ed Vaizey both welcome the review and the Department for Education will consequently invest £15 million over three years to put many of Henley’s recommendations into action.

This major step towards ring fencing arts education has been warmly received by key members of the arts community. David Puttnam, Chair of the Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA), for example, said today: ‘We warmly congratulate Darren Henley and the team on his well-considered Review of Cultural Education and are pleased to see a number of our recommendations and ideas reflected in his report. Overall, he has laid out a vision, which offers real potential for effective cultural learning for all children and young people.’ 

Other major recommendations made by the report that have been adopted by the government include the introduction of a national plan for cultural education in England, the introduction of a cross-government ministerial group on cultural education and the creation of a new film academy for young people.

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