The Creative Industries Federation and Institution of Civil Engineers are calling on the Government to better support cultural and creative learning in the UK.
Quinn Dombrowski (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Leading scientists and engineers have put their voices to a call for the Government to better support cultural and creative learning in the UK, as the Creative Industries Federation joins forces with the Institution of Civil Engineers to launch a Creative Education Agenda. The Agenda calls for a national plan for cultural and creative education to be drawn up for England – the only country in the UK that does not currently have one – and recommends that no school be judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted without a quality cultural and creative offer. Other suggestions include making a creative subject a requirement of the EBacc; encouraging Russell Group universities to introduce STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) acceptance criteria; and establishing a national creative apprenticeship scheme.
The call has been prompted by a recent drop in the number of students studying drama, design and craft related GCSEs. Just 8.4% of English students combined arts and STEM subjects at AS Level in 2012/13. The Creative Industries Federation argues that a workforce skilled in both arts and STEM subjects is essential to the future success of science and engineering in the UK: “A narrow focus on science, technology and maths will not deliver the innovation and creative thinking we need.” This view is supported by leading scientists, quotes from whom support the Agenda. Philipp Kukura, Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Oxford, said: “True scientific progress relies as much on an excellent specific education as on creativity and an ability to think and venture beyond what appears to be correct and reasonable.”
The Agenda echoes calls to action made by Nesta in its recent report on the creative economy, which found that the number of people employed in creative roles – both within and outside of the creative industries – grew four times faster than the workforce as a whole from 1997 to 2013.