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Culture: Education

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to provide all children with quality cultural opportunities in and outside schools; and what his Department’s definition of quality cultural opportunities is. (253301)

Schools offer many cultural activities in the school curriculum, and there is much cultural activity taking place outside school and beyond the school day. The ‘Find Your Talent’ programme, launched in February 2008, will build on the cultural activities already taking place around the country, and work towards a position where all children and young people have the opportunity to access high quality cultural activities in and out of school. These will include: attending and taking part in top quality theatre and dance performances; attending national and local exhibitions, museums and heritage sites; learning a musical instrument and singing in ensembles; producing creative writing and artwork; and making films. 10 pathfinders are trialling ways of delivering a structured cultural offer. They will help us to establish what activities should be included, and how to define and ensure the quality of the activities. Young people will work with the very best of the professional cultural sector.

The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto supports schools in offering extra activities to pupils, including creative and arts activities. A Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge will be awarded to provider organisations who have demonstrated that they meet six quality indicators. There is also a considerable amount of investment by the Government in culture and arts programmes such as Creative Partnerships and the support given to enable museums to run educational programmes.