Education and Skills Committee

31 October 2007


The Education and Skills Committee today publishes its report on Creative Partnerships and the Curriculum. The report strongly urges the Government to take creativity seriously and place it at the heart of learning.

The Committee notes that successful schools have embraced creativity and it is vital that all schools have the resources to approach learning creatively.

Creative Partnerships, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) must now plan for the future and produce models of best practice to help initiate work in every school.

All schools should benefit from the investment made in Creative Partnerships, even if they have not yet participated directly.

The imbalance in funding between DCSF and DCMS suggests that creativity is a 'second-order priority' for DCSF. The Committee asks DCSF to review policies such as Every Child Matters to ensure creativity becomes a fundamental part of every child's education. The report also recommends that greater non-financial support should be made available, such as assessing the value of 'soft skills' equally alongside SAT scores.

The Committee says it is vital that creative learning extends to subjects outside of the arts and urges the Government to consider whether the Arts Council should remain the lead organisation facilitating the programme, and whether the composition of the Creative Partnerships board adequately reflects a broad range of professions engaged in and knowledgeable about creativity.

The professional development of teaching staff is also essential in order to embed creative approaches to learning - the Committee believes this should be the core of Creative Partnerships' work.

Creative Partnerships is encouraged to expand opportunities for the reciprocal mentoring of teachers and creative professionals.

The Chairman of the Education and Skills Committee, Mr Barry Sheerman MP, said:

"Successful schools are creative schools. Our inquiry found a high level of support for creative approaches to teaching and learning in schools, with many practitioners clearly convinced of the positive effects on a child's learning and development.

It is not always clear that the DCSF is similarly convinced - it needs to take this issue far more seriously with active support for creativity in schools. Creativity should be at the very heart of teaching and learning.

We urge our successor Committee to return to this issue - in particular to assess whether schools need to shape the National Curriculum to their needs, or whether the Curriculum requires fundamental change to make space for creativity."