Art lessons in our schools are pitiful

article by our Chief Curator, Catherine Milner featured in The Daily Telegraph

A solid grounding in art is good for both GDP and our mental health. So why isn’t it in the national curriculum?

“Every primary school pupil should be taught Mozart!” screamed the newspaper headline of an article in March following the Government’s announcement that music was to become compulsory for all children. In 102 pages, it set out what musical knowledge children should be taught for each year of their school education up until the age of 14.

Compare that to the two sides of A4 that constitute the UK’s current National Curriculum for Art – last updated eight years ago. Primary school children should be encouraged, it says, to “produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences”. But then it adds, “schools are not by law required to teach pencil, charcoal, paint, clay”.


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