Darren Henley

Author: Darren Henley

13/12/2018 16:01:53

This month, NGA launched a new eLearning module for school governors and trustees; Arts and cultural education: improving your school and its curriculum, with support from Arts Council England. The Arts Council’s CEO Darren Henley is also a school governor and talks to us about how arts and cultural education can be used for school improvement and enhancing the curriculum.

As school governors, we have a responsibility to look after our young people’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We want to develop their wellbeing and ensure they grow into the problem solvers of tomorrow.

Including cultural education subjects such as art and design, dance, drama and music in the curriculum is hugely important in ensuring we deliver a broad and balanced offer in the classroom, enriching the lives of our young people.

These subjects are beneficial in themselves, but have the added bonus of offering young people the opportunity to learn about collaboration, of thinking differently, and of developing their own personal creativity. Cultural education subjects help to build the knowledge, skills, understanding and experiences that students need to succeed in 21st century life.

When I talk to the big employers, they want young people to be numerate and literate, but they also want them to invent and be imaginative problem-solvers. That’s where creativity comes in, it’s one of the three central pillars to a high-quality education. And we are limiting opportunities for young people if we fail to offer them the chance to study subjects such as art and design, dance, drama and music.

Schools remain the single most important place where children can access great cultural experiences, which is why we have supported the NGA to develop this eLearning module for governors and trustees. It will inform and empower them to develop their understanding of what arts and cultural education means and how it can improve outcomes.

A key tool you will see throughout the module is our Artsmark Award, the only creative quality standard for schools, supporting them to develop and celebrate their arts and cultural provision and use it to address priorities for school improvement.

Watch the introductory film

Find out more about the eLearning module

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