Hinds: We haven’t squeezed creative arts out of schools

The education secretary was today quizzed by MPs on the Commons Education Select Committee about an OECD survey which found that teachers in England work the longest hours in Europe, but spend less time teaching than five years earlier. Tes reports

Mr Hinds acknowledged the findings, blaming lesson planning, marking and data analysis as the main drivers of non-teaching workload.

However, Labour MP Thelma Walker, a former primary school headteacher, said the problem was “about the culture of targets and testing, high stakes accountability”.

She told the education secretary: “The whole system, the whole culture in schools, is under stress and strain because of that, alongside the narrowing of the curriculum, so creative arts and all those opportunities for both teachers and pupils to enjoy learning have been removed, and that’s what I believe it’s about.”

Mr Hinds interrupted at several points to say “no, no” and “no it’s not”.

Describing Ms Walker as a “distinguished former member of the profession”, Mr Hinds said: “I think you know that creative arts are happening at large scale in our schools and rightly so.”

Ms Walker interjected: “No, they’re not. The Fabian report Primary Colours says they’ve been cut.”

The research, which was published in January 2019, found that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of primary teachers say there is less arts education now than in 2010.

Read more Hinds: We haven’t squeezed creative arts out of schools 

Do you agree with MP Thelma Walker? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin


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