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Primary colours: The decline of arts education in primary schools and how it can be reversed

A new Fabian Society report Primary Colours reveals that two thirds (68%) of primary school teachers in England say there is less arts education now than in 2010, and half (49%) say the quality of what there is has got worse.

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  • Primary colours
  • Published 11 January 2019
  • Topics Education

A new Fabian Society report Primary Colours reveals that two thirds (68%) of primary school teachers in England say there is less arts education now than in 2010, and half (49%) say the quality of what there is has got worse.

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.

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.
  • A greater priority for the arts in the English national curriculum, including by expanding the guidance given to schools for arts and music education, and creating new foundation subjects for drama and dance.
  • Free music or singing lessons for three years for every primary school child in England who wishes to learn.
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How to purchase

Copies are available, priced £9.95, from the Fabian Society. Call 020 7227 4900, email or send a cheque payable to The Fabian Society to 61 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EU.


News

Primary teachers reveal a huge decline in arts education since 2010

11 January 2019

A new Fabian Society report Primary Colours reveals that two thirds (68%) of primary school teachers in England say there is less arts education now than in 2010, and half (49%) say the quality of what there is has got worse.

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