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Labour to unleash a ‘generation of creativity’ to boost opportunity, as awards season shows state school kids risk being shut out of creative subjects

By 23 March 2024May 29th, 2024No Comments
Photo © of Stephen Morgan MP

Stephen Morgan MP has backed Labour’s pledge to make the arts accessible to every child in Britain, helping to unleash a “generation of creativity” and reverse a Conservative education policy that has hammered the uptake of arts subjects in state schools. 

Keir Starmer has set out how Labour will change the curriculum so that every child can develop their creativity.

The Labour leader is on a personal mission to smash the ‘class ceiling’, warning that Britain’s world-leading arts organisations do not include enough people from working class backgrounds and need to do more to turn this around.

It comes as analysis reveals huge reserves of potential British talent going untapped, with state-educated artists heavily under-represented in awards season.

Only 60 percent of the British actors, directors and musicians nominated for major awards over the past decade were state educated, despite 94 percent of pupils attending state school.  The recent BAFTA Film ceremony suggests this trend is getting worse, with just three out of the ten British stars nominated for acting or directing awards attending a state-funded school.

Evidence shows that giving children access to creative subjects can have a positive impact on wider attainment, as well as on social and emotional wellbeing.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

”It cannot be right that the enjoyment of arts and has become down to luck, rather than every child in Portsmouth having the opportunity to develop their creativity.

“Britain is a world leader in music and film, but we are holding back masses of potential because the Conservatives’ creativity crisis is shutting kids out.

“Labour will unleash a generation of creativity across Britain. We’ll improve access to creative subjects and speaking skills. We’ll give our young people the confidence, the belief that their ideas matter, and the voice to speak up.”

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party said:

“Britain is a world leader in music and film, but we are holding back masses of potential because the Conservatives’ creativity crisis is shutting kids out.

“Growing up in a working-class household, the opportunity to learn an instrument gave me benefits far beyond the music. It gave me the confidence to kick on, and the drive to achieve.

“My mission is to ensure all children are supported to be creative and reap the practical, emotional and social benefits that come with it. That’s irrespective of your school, your family income or where you live.”

Labour’s mission to break down barriers to opportunity and boost creativity includes commitments to:

  • Broaden the curriculum – A Curriculum Assessment Review to broaden opportunities for state-school pupils and ensure that children don’t miss out on subjects such as music, art, design, sport and drama.
  • Change school accountability mechanisms – to encourage creative subjects as a first step to a broader curriculum.
  • Recruit 6,500 new teachers – to boost school capacity, funded via ending tax breaks for private schools.
  • Embed oracy and life skills in education – raising the importance of speaking skills to give children confidence, improve academic attainment and build skills for later life.
  • Breakfast clubs in every primary school – improving children’s learning and development, boosting performance in maths and reading, alongside improving behaviour and attendance.