Primary Colours: Fabian Society Report on the Decline of Arts Education in Primary Schools

Jan 14, 2019

A new Fabian Policy report gas revealed that over two thirds of primary school teachers in England say that there is less arts education now than in 2010, and half say the quality of what does remain has gotten worse.

“The report presents new findings from a Fabian/YouGov survey of a representative sample of 348 primary school teachers and a Fabian survey of 53 arts providers across England. The report concludes that the government must take immediate steps to reverse this worrying decline, making 8 recommendations for reform including £150m ring-fenced funding for the arts in schools, greater emphasis on the arts in the national curriculum, free music or singing lessons for every child and a free school trip for every year to a local cultural institution.”

The eight recommendations, which are each elaborated on in extensive detail in the report, contain a range of suggestions designed to make arts education more accessible to all children and promote the importance of the arts to all schools, even those who may have found success without focusing on it.

  1. New support for cultural education partnerships with funding to support local, place-based, and accessible arts education in every community
  2. Increased and ringfenced school funding for arts education
  3. An arts specialist available for every primary school, with increased arts training for all teachers
  4. A greater priority for the arts in the national curriculum
  5. No school should be judged ‘outstanding’ without high-quality arts and cultural education
  6. Free music lessons for every primary school child who wishes to learn
  7. A more inclusive Artsmark
  8. A free visit to a local cultural institution for every primary school child every year

To read the full Primary Colours report, click here. What are your thoughts on its findings and the eight recommendations?