Emma Geliot's picture

The chances are that, if you're reading this, you are already reasonably convinced that the arts have a significant role to play in schools, but the recent report and recommendations that have come out the Independent Report for the Welsh Government into Arts in Education in the Schools of Wales aims to further embed the value of the arts in primary and secondary education.

The report, launched on 25 September, makes 12 recommendations aimed at more effective integration of the arts and creativity into education. These include recommendations for the Welsh Government to:

  • formally state the central role for arts education in schools by making a commitment to provide high quality arts education and access to the arts
  • promote the use of the arts in helping to improve numeracy and literacy andreducing the attainment gap
  • include creativity as a core theme across all subjects in both primary and secondary education
  • work with the Arts Council of Wales and experienced education practitioners to develop a new framework for arts-related professional development
  • support schoolsarts champions within the new national plan for creative learning and Welsh Arts Awards for individual teachers
  • require Estyn to carry out regular audits of Welsh schools to assess the levels of creative learning.Professor Dai Smith, who led the review said:"Teaching in and through the arts, far from detracting from literacy and numeracy, should be seen as an enabler to driving up standards in those academic priorities. The value of the arts therefore needs to be reiterated with schools and, importantly, schools need to be supported in taking up and delivering more imaginative approaches to cross-curricular creative activity. "I believe that this report provides a clear picture of the advantages of such learning. We have teachers and artists who are ambitious to catapult Wales to the forefront of what threatens (or promises) to be a revolutionary transformation of educational systems in some of the more far-seeing countries of the world. Above all it is our children and young people who make this claim for Wales, one that we should honour with their Cymru Fydd in our mind. For their future, we cannot afford to be left behind."
It is anticipated that the Ministers for Education and Skills, and Culture & Sport will issue a joint Welsh Government response to Professor Smith s recommendations in early December.

See CCQ's commentary on this report here