Over £15 million is to be invested in cultural education over the next three years as the government aims to give children from all backgrounds access to the arts.
As part of the new national plan for cultural education, a wide ranging programme of investment has been devised that will see a new national youth dance company established as well as a youth film academy run by the British Film Institute.
The move follows a cross-departmental review commissioned by both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Education (DfE), with wide-ranging measures announced by the government yesterday (February 28th).
Classical FM's managing director Darren Henley carried out the independent review and offered a range of recommendations that would help children from all backgrounds, particularly the most disadvantaged, benefit from a cultural education.
Discussing his recommendations, Mr Henley said that for children from deprived backgrounds schools inevitably form the most significant part of their cultural education so it essential that this is as rich as possible.
"Parents and carers may themselves not have been lucky enough to benefit from a wide-ranging cultural education," he said.
"There is therefore a gap in understanding and experience among the influential adults in these children's lives. We need to bridge the divide so that all children, from whatever background, experience the richness of a varied cultural education."
Another measure included in the programme will see English Heritage oversee the 'Heritage Schools' initiative which will encourage teachers and pupils to visit historical locations.
Meanwhile, a network of nationwide art and design clubs to be held on Saturdays in colleges and universities will be formed, giving school pupils access to specialist equipment, materials and teaching.
Education secretary Michael Gove and culture secretary Ed Vaizey, who jointly commissioned the review as heads of the DfE and DCMS respectively, have thrown their collective weight behind the new programme.
"I want to end any suggestion that high culture is only for the privileged few," said Mr Gove.
Posted by Harriet McGowan