30 marzo 2014

#Arts in Education in the Schools of Wales

"Within our educational system the arts should become core and never again, for whatever reasons, be regarded as peripheral".


With this sentence begins the conclusion of the independent report to the Government of Wales presented by Professor Dai Smith. In his fifty-four-page analyzes and reflects on the data that illustrate how crucial it would be to make the creative arts and interdisciplinary topic a central feature of school life.

The report deals with international experience emphasizing the role of the arts in improving literacy and mathematics, as well as in reducing the gap in academic achievement for what practices Australia, Singapore and Finland are analyzed. After a closer look at the experiences Ireland and Britain, and the current situation in Wales  analyze the key issues and present twelve recommendations you can read below.


1. The Welsh Government should formally assert the central role which it envisages for arts education in the schools of Wales by making a commitment to the provision of high quality arts education and access to the arts.

2. The Welsh Government should promote the use of the arts in helping to deliver improved numeracy and literacy, and in reducing the attainment gap.

3. The Welsh Government should enhance the current curriculum to include creativity, alongside numeracy and literacy as a core theme across all the subject disciplines and in both primary and secondary education; further the Welsh Government should consider an arts rich education to be core to the whole school experience of all pupils, and should, with the Arts Council of Wales, seek to enable wide experience of the arts outside school as well as interaction with professional artists in the school environment.

4. That all initial teacher training (ITT) delivered by HE institutions in Wales should ensure that creative teaching methodology is ‘core’ to educational practice.

5. The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales should work with a group of experienced education practitioners to develop a new framework for arts related continuing professional development (CPD). This should address the needs both of teachers and of arts practitioners, and support the national priorities of improving standards of literacy and numeracy and of narrowing the attainment gap.

6. The Welsh Government should support: o The fostering of schools ‘arts champions’ within the new national plan for creative learning o Welsh Arts Awards and/or medals for individual teachers

7. The Arts Council of Wales and Local Government should be remitted to work with local authorities and education consortia to prioritise a range of specific initiatives, to support and develop creative teaching, to include:
o o o
WAM (Wales Arts Mark) Certificates Mentoring of teachers with arts practitioners and arts organisations Working with local government to identify, develop and sustain a system of schools ‘arts champions’

8. The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales should ensure that a Creative Education Portal is developed, as an additional, integrated element of ‘Hwb’, the all-Wales Digital Learning Platform.

9. The Arts Council of Wales should be remitted to work with its revenue funded clients and other cultural institutions to establish ‘Creative Learning Networks’ to encourage arts, artists, teachers, parents and educationalists to exchange ideas and information, and to work together with Professional Learning Communities to improve standards of creative learning in schools. The Networks should reflect and inform the four regional education consortia.

10. The Welsh Government should explore funding options aimed at ensuring that equitable provision is available to young people in all art forms, and that exceptionally talented young people are able to pursue and develop their talent.

11. The Welsh Government and Careers Wales should work in partnership to support a stronger focus on providing more balanced careers advice to young people to highlight opportunities and pathways in the arts and creative industries sector.

12. The Welsh Government should require Estyn to undertake a periodic audit of Welsh schools to assess the embedding of creative learning, and the quality of the ongoing arts experience and its impact on literacy and numeracy outcomes.

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