Eleanor Philpot

Children’s theatre engagement faces significant decline

4:42, 24th September 2019

According to a recent survey carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the number of children engaging with theatre has fallen considerably, especially among the 11 to 15 year old bracket

The annual Taking Part Survey spoke to children between the ages of 5 to 15, in order to understand the current participation and engagement of the arts across the board. Its findings revealed that the amount of children between the ages of 11 to 15, engaging with theatre has fallen significantly from 58.8% in 2017/18 to 50.7% in 2018/19. In addition, children were shown to mostly be engaging with drama while inside the school gates, with 57% of 11 to 15-year-olds saying they only participated in drama and theatre based activities while at school, if at all, meaning that less than half of English school children would engage with drama/theatre over the course of a year.

Among all arts subjects – including writing, film, dance, music, circus, arts and crafts and computer activities – Drama and theatre was shown to suffer the most severe decline in numbers, noting a 8% decline in engagement. This 8% means a double decrease in participation since the reports released the year before, which saw participation numbers decreasing by 4%, from 63.5% to 58.8%.

While Drama and theatre was recorded as being the least popular arts subject for children between the ages of five to 10, participation numbers remained the same.

For more information visit: www.gov.uk

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