Put your hands together for Henley

9th March 2012 at 00:00

It is not often that I read a government report and feel that it shows real understanding of the sector and provides a realistic plan for the future. The Henley review of cultural education, published on 28 February, is just that.

The report recognises the considerable success of cultural education in this country, but is not backward in expressing the widespread fear that there will be a retreat away from recognising the value of the cultural sector.

Henley identifies the real concern in the arts sector that the introduction of the English Baccalaureate is damaging to arts subjects in the curriculum and recommends that at least one "cultural" GCSE should be mandatory. I am pleased that he has called for subjects such as dance and drama to be seen as subjects in their own right.

The significance of the Henley review is that his proposals provide a road map towards building a long-term, sustainable strategy for cultural education that could make us as a nation, in his words, "the envy of the world".

Anthony Bowne, Principal, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

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