The Stage reports that Olivier award winners have widely condemned “catastrophic” cuts to the arts in education.
Speaking at the awards in London, winners including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child director John Tiffany and Dreamgirls star Amber Riley argued for the importance of creative subjects in education.
Tiffany said: “Austerity has led us to a terrible philosophy where we think we’ve got to cut back on everything that’s ‘frippery’, like the arts.”
He said creative subjects such as art history were disappearing from state schools.
“That is catastrophic,” Tiffany added. He added: “If I was graduating from high school now I certainly wouldn’t be holding this award, and I’m not being dramatic about it.”
Tyrone Huntley, who was nominated for best actor in a musical for Jesus Christ Superstar, echoed Tiffany’s comments. “Without the teachers who encouraged me when I was younger, I would never have taken it seriously as a career, so it’s really important that we encourage drama and music in schools from an early age.”
Lighting designer Neil Austin, who won for his work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, claimed design and technical professions would be diversified only if more were done to encourage schoolchildren to take an interest.
“If you’re not getting education in school about drama and theatre studies, or if you’re not being taken on school trips, you certainly might not realise that performing is an option, and if you don’t go to those things, you will never realise that there are all these other jobs.”
Is the future bleak for British film and stage? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!