Call for arts to take centre stage

6th June 1997 at 01:00
Headteachers have warned the Government not to forget the importance of the arts in schools in their quest to improve pupils' academic achievement.

They argued for a central role for the arts - music, dance, drama, literature, graphic and plastic art - in the curriculum and a guarantee that all pupils would have access to them throughout their education.

"Such a commitment would imply giving the arts equal status with subjects like maths, science and technology," said the National Association of Head Teachers.

It called on the Government to ensure that initial teacher training promoted an understanding and appreciation of the value of the arts as well as good quality arts teaching and urged ministers to provide cash in its capital building programme for the development and improvement of arts facilities in schools.

Office for Standards in Education inspections have revealed less time and money is being spent on the arts in schools and the number of specialist arts teachers is falling. There is also a perceived marginalisation of the arts within the national curriculum.

The NAHT argues: "While the arts are intrinsically worthwhile as areas of study and participation, there are sound economic and social justifications for the arts in the curriculum."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today