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Arts: Education

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government has taken to improve performing arts education in schools. (220600)

There are now 494 specialist arts colleges. They are free to choose between the three broad areas of the arts, including the performing arts. They ensure that learning in the arts is marked by creative rigour and discipline, develop the skills of teachers and use new technologies to raise the quality of teaching and learning. They also work with other schools and the local community in sharing facilities and resources to develop learning opportunities in the arts, through partnerships with creative industries and arts institutions.

Last November we announced unprecedented funding of £332 million specifically for music to 2011—including £82 million per year direct to local authorities ring-fenced for music education. The work we are taking forward in music focuses on participation and performance. Building on this, in February 2008 we announced the “Find Your Talent” programme of 10 pathfinders that will trial ways of providing opportunities for children and young people to have a range of high quality arts and cultural experiences, including playing music or singing in ensembles and taking part in theatre and dance performances. We are also continuing to invest in the Creative Partnerships programme so that it can give more pupils the opportunity to develop creativity in learning by working with creative professionals and cultural organisations, including theatre companies, dance and recording studios and orchestras.