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Love of the arts begins at school

usic tuition has come, politicians have gone, and theatre, ballet and opera companies have clung on by the skin of their teeth. The arts world is still waiting for the Cultural Commission's report to see what the future holds, but education looks set to be one of the winners (page one).

Years ago, a Scottish Arts Council survey of schools revealed that they wanted a central body with a central database, which they could telephone for information on events in their area. The idea of an independent agency to help arts and education talk to each other was thrown out and a network of cultural co-ordinators set up instead.

Well, the cultural co-ordinators are taking root, as can be seen from some of the excellent work emanating from the education authorities. Now it looks as if the idea of a central database with information on the arts companies may come to fruition under the auspices of Learning and Teaching Scotland. If, as James Boyle, chairman of the Cultural Commission, predicts, the curriculum review gives greater access to culture-based activities, then there could - finally - be a national, co-ordinated strategy for education and the arts. If that means greater security for large and small arts companies, and richer choice for schools, then everyone stands to gain.

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