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RSA has no 'vested interests'

To suggest, as John Hanson does in his letter, that the Royal Society of Arts is a "lobby group" seeking to promote "vested interests" is inaccurate. As an independent body, the RSA uses the resources of its diverse Fellowship to stimulate discussion and encourage action in its main fields of interest: industry, design, environment, the arts as well as education.

Our report Guaranteeing an entitlement to the Arts in Schools sets out to raise awareness of what is happening to the arts (dance, music, drama, art) in schools and makes recommendations to ensure that the arts are not squeezed out of the curriculum. As Sir John Harvey-Jones said recently at a TES-sponsored conference, the arts have a vital role to play in developing individuals who can innovate rather than merely conform and can contribute to creating economic success. The arts can give young people qualities - intuition, creativity, assessment of others' work, physical and perceptual skills - which are becoming vital in a world where not just the patterns, but the concept of work, leisure, and social interaction are rapidly changing.

Tomorrow's society needs rounded, creative people whether they become scientists, engineers or businessmen or women. If we deny our children access to the arts we do so at our peril.

MARGARET HYDE

Chairman RSA arts advisory group 8 John Adam Street, London WC2

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