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Cultural Heritage: Young People

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to his Department's press release of 13 February 2008 entitled young people to get five hours of culture a week—£135m funding boost announced, how he plans to measure the number of hours of arts and culture a week children receive in the pilot areas; and what estimate he has made of the number they currently receive. (194873)

The Find Your Talent pilot programme will test different ways of delivering a range of cultural opportunities over the next three years, including ways of ensuring all children are able to experience at least five hours.

The pilots will build on the considerable amount of cultural activity already taking place in and out of school and the investment we put into this area. They will also be asked to audit current level of provision and the take up of cultural activities by children and young people. What we learn from them will give us the information we need to make decisions about implementing the scheme nationally.

Although I am unable to give figures for how many hours young people currently receive, the ‘Taking Part’ survey showed that overall 99 per cent. said they had engaged in cultural sector at least once during the last 12 months. Within this, 61 per cent. of young people said they had engaged in cultural activities at least once a week during the last 12 months, and a further 21 per cent. said at least once a month.

The numbers quoted here relate to the percentage of 11 to 15-year-olds living in private households in England, both in and out school. The interviews were conducted between January and December 2006.