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Culture: Education

Volume 472: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) in which areas the schemes to provide every child with five hours of culture a week are being piloted; and how many children will be involved in these pilot schemes; (188843)

(2) how his Department plans to ensure that every child is receiving five hours of culture a week.

On 13 February 2008 we announced a Find Your Talent programme of 10 pilots that will trial ways of delivering a structured five hours a week cultural offer There is already much cultural activity taking place in and out of school and the pilots will build on this, to make sure all children and young people have the opportunity to take part in cultural activities.

We have published a prospectus seeking expressions of interest from partnerships in local areas around the country, setting out a core range of activities we believe young people should be able to engage with. However, this is very much a minimum and we expect additional cultural experiences to be offered. We are looking for innovative bids that will test different ways of delivering a variety of approaches to a comprehensive cultural offer over the next three years, including how the five hour offer can be delivered. The pilots will give us the information we need to make decisions about rolling out the offer nationally.

The deadline for bids is 7 April 2008. Successful applicants will be notified in May and work will begin in September 2008.