The TES is reporting that author Philip Pullman has warned that an obsession with league tables and exams has left arts education in a “terrible state”.
The award-winning writer claimed that the emphasis on test and exam results was depriving pupils of visits to the theatre and concerts and urged the government to make such trips a “firmly established part of the curriculum”.
“I do worry what happens to children when they’re deprived of these things by these blasted league tables and this crazy assumption that we’ve got to test everything,” he said.
“We do hear this from theatres that we’re not getting any children, because the schools don’t want to let them out because it takes time away from their lessons. That’s a terrible state to have got into, absolutely terrible.
“It should be a firmly established part of the curriculum that children should visit theatres and concert halls,” he added during an interview to celebrate the 200th edition of British children’s comic The Phoenix.
Statistics from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport show that the proportion of primary-aged children who have visited the theatre fell from nearly half (47.1 per cent) in 2008-9 to less than a third (32.3 per cent) in 2014-15…
The figures above are not specific to school visits, but do you think it is likely these are down by a similar proportion?
If so, is that down, as Philip Pullman suggests, to an obsession with results, or because of financial reasons, or are there other factors involved?
Please tell us how you see it in the comments below or via Twitter…
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