We welcome the publication of The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education’s report this week.
The report provides another opportunity for the sector to state the case for better provision and profile of the arts in schools in England and a more joined up and holistic approach to teaching for creativity across the curriculum. While it does not provide any new findings, the report highlights the gaps in the current secondary curriculum and the lack of expertise and knowledge in the application of creativity and critical thinking in schools.
It also makes a clear case for the importance of equality of provision in schools and the impact a lack of access to creativity and the arts can have. The report states:
“Evidence shows that teaching for creativity confers personal, economic and social advantage. As a matter of social justice and national interest it should be available to all young people, not only to those who can afford it.”
Orchestras Live is committed to providing equality of access to orchestral music for all. One of our key priorities over the next couple of years is to inspire more children and young people to develop a relationship with music and, more broadly, with their creative potential.
We are particularly encouraged that the report has a focus on Early Years and the lack of expertise for this key age group. We know from our Lullaby early years project in East Anglia, that being able to access and experience music at a very young age, directly impacts on someone’s potential to develop a lifelong relationship with culture, the arts and creative and critical thinking.
The report rightly emphasises that creativity is not restricted to the arts: a focus on creativity across all subjects is vital to future-proof our education system. Orchestras Live adopts a cross-curricular approach wherever possible, embracing links with science and technology to provide early entry points to creativity for young people.
Sarah Derbyshire, CEO, said:
"This report provides another opportunity to make the case for the vital importance of both creativity and the arts in the education system and the importance of creative thinking to today’s employers.
It makes clear the social disadvantage conferred on students who are not given opportunities to stretch themselves creatively or experience the arts first-hand.
It also highlights the importance that access to the arts can have on the wellbeing of young people. Arts professionals, educators and policy makers should all be looking to utilise arts subjects to improve the mental wellbeing of young people across the country."