Fact, fact, fact! Who put the philistines in charge?

22nd June 2012 at 01:00

The draft new primary curriculum is an educational and cultural disgrace as far as drama goes. Michael Gove has ignored the recommendation of the Henley Review of Cultural Education in England that drama should be made a curriculum subject. He has ignored the substantial and still relevant NACCCE (National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education) report All Our Futures, which made clear the destructive impact of a narrow core subject curriculum on arts education and creativity. He has ignored Arts Council England (the basic Artsmark requires art, music, dance and drama in primary schools). He has ignored relentless lobbying by National Drama and the Cultural Learning Alliance and the significant drama and theatre manifesto led by National Campaign for the Arts. He has also chosen to ignore Unesco's goals for arts education. Unesco launched its first annual arts education week last month. This month, Mr Gove reveals the axeing of drama from our primary curriculum.

Drama has struggled for its very existence since the national curriculum was first introduced. Sir Jim Rose's ill-fated proposed primary curriculum had drama well placed for the first time, as an equal status art form within "Understanding the Arts". Mr Gove should be ashamed that he has it on his ideological scrapheap.

Patrice Baldwin, Chair of National Drama.

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