Tuesday, 21 June 2016


There are so many of us who passionately believe that every child matters, and that those who are the hardest to reach and the hardest to teach matter more. Increasingly experience tells us that for young people generally, and for those harder to reach young people, the arts matter...
We know that at-risk teenagers or young adults with a history of intensive arts experiences show achievement levels closer to, and in some cases exceeding, the levels shown by the general population studied,” a team of scholars writes in a new National Endowment for the Arts Research Report. “These findings suggest that in-school or extracurricular programs offering deep arts involvement may help to narrow the gap in achievement levels. We need to create a curriculum and an offer for young people that is rich in the arts because all the evidence suggest that, like sport, the arts can create passionate learners with the skills and competencies they need to be successful and get work.

We need to understand that the arts, like teaching and learning, is co-operative and collaborative; a passionate enterprise involving teamwork, communication, listening and discipline. We all know that we must ensure that every child is a reader, writer and is numerate by the time they are eight and that we need to build challenge, enterprise, innovation and creativity into our learning programmes and we need to make young people love the hard stuff; maths, science, physics and languages, from the earliest age. But vitally, we need to build character, respect and self-discipline through everything we do with mentoring, coaching, volunteering and the world of work as part of an entitlement for all. This is where the arts and sport can make an enormous difference and listening to young people who are increasingly disengaged from traditional learning and schooling and simply bored with the offer we make in a digital world full of music, games and sport the arts really do matter... because "when young people are involved with the arts, something changes in their lives."

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