Arts are important

The Times, 22.06.15 HMC member Peter Green, headmaster of Rugby School writes:

The new curriculum will ‘sterilise the creative vision, entrepreneurial skills and artistic flair that characterise this country’

Sir, Richard Morrison (“Music and art bring in billions. So teach them properly in schools,” June 19) exposes the fallacy of Nick Gibb’s claim that social mobility is delivered by restricting the curriculum to the five EBacc subjects.

Unless arts teaching is protected, this government will preside over the demise of the liberal arts in the UK. The new curriculum leaves children ill-equipped for a future that will place a premium on creativity. Emphasising “core” subjects deprives children of the development of communication skills, resilience, wellbeing and self-confidence. It will sterilise the creative vision, entrepreneurial skills and artistic flair that characterise this country.

The Warwick Commission’s report Enriching Britain called for “equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education”. For this to happen, partnerships have to be developed between private and public organisations.

Convened by Rugby School and Bradfield College, a meeting took place last week attended by representatives of schools, arts organisations and creative industries, to discuss how to achieve “a world-class creative and cultural education for all, to ensure the wellbeing and creativity of the population”.

We are committed to sharing our ideas and expertise with schools — both state-funded and independent. We have seen the transformational power of the arts in education. It must be maintained.

Peter Green

Head master, Rugby School