The report presents new findings from a Fabian/YouGov survey of a representative sample of 348 primary school teachers and a Fabian survey of 53 arts providers across England. The report concludes that the government must take immediate steps to reverse this worrying decline, making 8 recommendations for reform including £150m ring-fenced funding for the arts in schools, greater emphasis on the arts in the national curriculum, free music or singing lessons for every child and a free school trip for every year to a local cultural institution.
The Fabian/YouGov poll of primary school teachers in England shows:
- A decline in quantity: Two-thirds of teachers (68 per cent) say arts provision in their primary school has decreased since 2010, with just 7 per cent saying there is more.
- A decline in quality: Almost half (49 per cent) of surveyed teachers say the quality of arts provision in their primary school has worsened since 2010, with just 13 per cent believing it has improved.
- A lack of support and resources: A majority of teachers (56 per cent) do not believe they have access to the resources and support to deliver a high quality arts education.
- A lack of skills and experience: Nearly half of teachers (45 per cent) also believe they do not have the skills and experience needed to provide a high quality arts education, compared to 32 percent who say they do.
Primary Colours, published in partnership with the charity Children & the Arts and the Musicians’ Union, makes a series of recommendations including:
- Increased and ringfenced school funding for arts education in English primary schools worth £150m, through an arts education premium for every primary school.
- An arts specialist available for every primary school in England, with increased arts training for all teachers.
- Free music or singing lessons for three years for every primary school child in England who wishes to learn.
- A free visit to a local arts institution for every primary school child in England every year.