Cultural learning “essential to young people’s development”

Children must have the “fullest possible access” to a range of arts, culture and heritage, says new report backed by UK arts leaders.

Lord Puttnam, Sir Nicholas Serota and Kevin Spacey are among a host of high profile arts leaders calling for the government to safeguard the future of arts education in the UK.

The former film-maker, Tate director and Old Vic director have signed a new report into the value of arts education, entitled ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning.

Published by the Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA), the report argues that arts and heritage have the power to transform young people’s lives and that participating in structured arts improves learning.

The report comes in response to the threat to cultural learning from the current financial retrenchment affecting cultural institutions and from potential changes in the education system which, it says, are already leading to a decline in cultural opportunities.

Far from being a cost burden, the reports authors argue that the knowledge, skills and experience made possible by access to museums, libraries, theatres and other cultural and heritage organisations are essential to young peoples development.

Children and young people who have access to our cultural riches will be better equipped to contribute to our economic prosperity and social harmony.

The report follows a recent wide-ranging survey by the CLA of existing English language data on the outcomes of cultural learning. The purpose of the research was to demonstrate the impact of cultural learning on the lives of children and young people. Key findings include:

Read the full report: ‘ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning’ (pdf download).

For more information on the research findings, visit the CLA website.

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