Philip Pullman says tests and league tables have left arts education in a ‘terrible state’

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…

More at: Philip Pullman says tests and league tables have left arts education in a ‘terrible state’

 

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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Categories: Policy and Primary.

Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove I’d suggest that the cost of regular theatre trips is a smidge prohibitive, but Pullman makes a reasonable point

  2. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – I believe theartre trips are a vital part of education. However the costs of tickets/coaches etc can be high.

  3. colin_clp

    SchoolsImprove every child should experience a theatre visit at least once during their time at school. This should be a national pledge.

  4. Top_kat1

    colin_clp SchoolsImprove at my school in Hackney we went as a whole school to HackneyEmpire every year- school still does

  5. colin_clp

    Top_kat1 SchoolsImprove HackneyEmpire not a difficult pledge to uphold. Theatres, schools & govt need to commit to shared belief in value

  6. Top_kat1

    colin_clp SchoolsImprove HackneyEmpire WestCliffPrimar great!! Wasn’t meaning to sound neg, fully endorse, just don’t think gov dictate

  7. littlewestiepup

    SchoolsImprove Agreed. DP works @ the RCA, & it’s now a business rather than educational establishment with less than 1/2 UK students.

  8. PompeyDog

    SchoolsImprove go to the theatre? What a waste of time. More learning by rote please – that’s what’s good for ’em.

  9. PompeyDog

    SchoolsImprove go to the theatre? What a waste of time. More learning by rote please – that’s what’s good for ’em.

Let us know what you think...