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Eleanor Philpot

How each political party will affect the state of Drama education

5:29, 28th November 2019

What would the Conservative’s re-election, a Labour win or a Liberal Democrat majority mean for the state of Drama education in the UK? Fortunately, all three major parties address issues relating to arts education and the creative industries in their retrospective manifestos and plan to implement some form of positive change.

Jeremy Corbyn has called for a £160 million arts pupil premium to fund arts education for every primary school child, with funding planning to rise to £175m by 2023 – 2024. The manifesto states that in providing younger students with a creative education, arts will naturally become ‘embedded within secondary education.’ The Labour party also plans to nurture a varied and balanced curriculum, ‘promoting all types of learning, skill and knowledge – technical, vocational, academic and creative.’

With regard to arts and the wider community, the Labour party plans to launch a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund which will ‘transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country.’ In turn, the party plans to make the National Lottery Fund more transparent to ensure that all communities benefit from project funding, and will launch a Town of Culture competition. Labour will also champion diversity in creative industries ‘so that everyone sees themselves represented on screen and on stage’.’

Boris Johnson is also looking to implement a similar arts education fund, but this time aimed at secondary rather than primary school students. The ‘Arts premium’ will provide ‘enriching activities for all students’ and will be funded at around £110 million a year for three years, starting in 2021. The party have stated that they will continue their ‘commitment to core subjects’ (English, Maths, Science), and continue to create ‘great schools’  it seems that under the power of the Conservatives, the ebacc (and the ethos that surrounds it) is very much here to stay.

The party also plan to implement ‘the largest cultural capital scheme in a century’ with £250 million being put towards the support of local libraries and museums. No major changes will affect the creative industries in a wider sense however as they plan to maintain their support of ‘creative sector tax reliefs and free entry to the UK’s national museums.’

Instead of embedding the arts into an academically centred curriculum, Jo Swinton wants to cut the Ebacc altogether, which will ‘protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum.’ Adding to this, the Liberal Democrats want to focus on an education style that teaches the ‘core skills required for children to flourish in the modern world, including critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity’, in turn, ‘[boosting] quality at every stage of education.’ Much like Labour and the Conservatives, the Lib dems will ‘Maintain free access to national museums and galleries’ but will also use the National Lottery to protect sports and arts funding.

To find out more about each party and their respective policies, visit: https://labour.org.uk/, https://vote.conservatives.com/ and https://www.libdems.org.uk/

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