Fabian Society launches ‘Children’s Access to the Arts’ project

In partnership with the Musicians’ Union (MU) and Children and the Arts, the Fabian Society has launched a new project aiming to provide definitive evidence of the impact that school cuts have had on Primary-age children’s access to the arts.

‘Children’s Access to the Arts’ will explore the consequences for children of this decline in access and set out a series of recommendations to policy-makers to remedy the problem.

The project will address three key research questions:

  1. What has happened to access to the arts for Primary-age children as school and council budgets have been squeezed?
  2. What impact is this decline in access having on children and their life chances?
  3. What should politicians do to improve access to the arts and how can we ensure they take the action that is required?

Earlier this month, the Fabians hosted a roundtable discussion bringing together politicians, policy experts and service providers to launch the project. Shadow minister for education with responsibility for schools, Mike Kane MP, chaired the event and opening contributions came from representatives from Children and the Arts, the Musicians’ Union and Tracy Brabin MP.

The Fabian Society said:

‘Access to the arts can transform young lives. It improves educational attainment and gives children the tools to understand their history and their community. But the squeeze on school funding means that fewer and fewer young people are getting the chance to expand their horizons.

‘In January, the BBC reported that nine in 10 Secondary schools have cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in one or more creative arts subject. While there is an extensive evidence base for the decline in access to the arts in Secondary schools, there is a less comprehensive one for Primary schoolchildren. With Primary education providing the foundation for a child’s future learning, this evidence base has to be strengthened.’

Header photo: A Primary music lesson

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