Eleanor Philpot

Durham University and Arts Council England release report highlighting creativity in schools

8:18, 18th October 2019

The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education has published its final report, emphasising the need for more creativity in schools.

The report, released on 15 October, calls for creativity to be nurtured in schools in order to equip young people with the skills needed for adult life. The report also found evidence for the positive impact that both creativity and creative thinking have in our lives, and is encouraging all schools from early years to post-16 education to embed the teaching of creativity into their curriculum. In engaging students with creative lessons that are grounded in subject knowledge, the report outlines that young people will find their personal, social and academic skills greatly enriched.

Alongside the report, the Durham Commission have released practical recommendations to help schools and educational institutions make the most of teaching creativity. These include:

  • The development of a pilot national network of Creativity Collaboratives set up through joint working between DfE, the Arts Council and education trusts
  • Better recognition, research and evaluation of teaching for creativity in schools and a recognition of this teaching in the Ofsted inspection process
  • A clearer focus on digital technology and its role in a creative education
  • Inclusion of the arts as standard in the curriculum to key stage 3 and a National Plan for Cultural Education
  • A focus on early years learning including training for the workforce
  • Creative opportunities out of school hours and in the world of work

Royal Shakespeare Company’s director of education, Jacqui O’Hanlon, a commissioner of the report, says: ‘As one of the 17 Commissioners who worked on its development, we warmly endorse the report recommendations – in particular that it recognises the role that arts subjects and experiences play in developing creative capacities and capabilities in young people.  These are not ‘nice to have’ additions but are instead essential experiences for young people both inside and outside of school; therefore, as the Commission recommends, arts subjects should become standard for all children up to Key Stage 3 and there should be a National Plan for Cultural Education.

‘The contribution of creative and cultural learning to young peoples’ well-being is significant. In our recent Time to Listen study young people talked consistently about arts lessons as the only place where they felt free to experiment, make mistakes (and learn from them), express ideas and articulate arguments. They also valued arts and creative lessons as a means of relieving stress and processing and navigating complex emotions.’

For more information, and to read the full report, visit dur.ac.uk

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