Saturday, 7 September 2019

IMPORTANT STUFF: ‘The arts has to be at the heart of the curriculum'!

Ed Vaizey MP, a previous Minister for Arts who continues to be a strong advocate for arts education, spoke on 17 July about the importance of arts education for ‘our creative industries and the wellbeing and life chances of young people’ saying: ‘The arts has to be at the heart of the curriculum'.


This year's GCSE results show that between 2010 to 2019 in England there has been a decline of 38% in the number of arts GCSE entries, from 673,739 in 2010 to 419,664 in 2019. The arts matter because we know that the skills needed to thrive and succeed at school, at work and in life in general are the skills of the arts!!

MORE WORRYING STUFF: Continuing decline in the hours of arts teaching and number of arts teachers in England’s secondary schools!

What is going on? DfE figures published in June 2019 show that between 2010 and 2018 the number of hours the arts were taught in England’s secondary schools fell by 23% and the number of arts teachers fell by 22%. The arts matter because we know that the skills needed to thrive and succeed at school, at work and in life in general are the skills of the arts!!


Wednesday, 28 August 2019


"Devote yourself to loving others,
devote yourself to your community around you,
and devote yourself to creating something 
that gives you purpose and meaning."
Morrie Schwarz

We are not going to tackle the real issues facing us in this country by doing more of the same and at times like this I often ask myself what are we trying to achieve? What is our vision for our schools, our libraries, our hospitals, our care homes, our public services? How do we continue to build brilliant organisations, in brilliant places to serve brilliant communities? What is the trick to releasing the magic and unlocking the potential of each and every child, of each and every colleague and of every family and every community to be their brilliant best? Of course, I understand people's impatience with failing services but I have my doubts about the easy answers It’s the quality of what goes on in organisations that matters and everything points to the fact that people are the key to success. Evidence suggests that big improvements are possible provided we focus vigorously on the things that make a difference. This isn't intended as an excuse because the critics are right, satisfactory will never be good enough and we must constantly strive for answers to the poor services that we have put up with for so long. We need to build world class organisations with world class standards.

I have worked for over forty years trying to answer these challenges and those of us who have spent our lives at the front line know the real answers lie where they have always been...
  • strong, disciplined, focused and passionate leadership;
  • clear, shared vision, values and beliefs;
  • talented, energetic, enthusiastic and creative teams;
  • empowered, trusted and disciplined colleagues;
  • powerful, stimulating and interesting environments;
  • high self-esteem and high expectations of everyone;
  • strong, dynamic and meaningful coaching relationships;
  • high engagement and involvement of customers;
  • positive engagement and involvement of the communities we serve.
We need to be determined, persistent and focused even if it is hard.… whatever it takes!