A jazz musician is to head a new council aimed at encouraging pupils to immerse and express themselves in the arts and culture.
Education minister Gilles de Robien and culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres last week launched the High Council of Artistic and Cultural Education to analyse, promote and advise on all aspects of artistic education from nursery to university level.
They have appointed composer and jazz violinist Didier Lockwood as vice-president to lead 19 council members.
Members include professionals from cinema, literature, theatre, dance and music as well as officials from state and local government and parents'
representatives. Mr de Robien said he wanted to encourage pupils take up artistic pursuits, and an arts dimension to be introduced across the curriculum.
While art and music teachers are in the front line, artistic education is also a collective effort by all teachers and others outside school, he said. He hopes schools will form partnerships with artists, cultural professionals, associations and local authorities.
The council will consider what training in arts and culture primary and secondary teachers should receive, and how artists and cultural specialists could help pupils.
The council is the first joint venture between the two ministries since former education minister Jack Lang created "artistic and cultural project"
classes in 2001 (TES, January 5, 2001), an initiative that dwindled due to a lack of commitment under subsequent ministers.