Select Committee on Education and Skills Eleventh Report

1  Preface

1. The Committee announced its inquiry into Creative Partnerships and the Curriculum on 4th June 2007, with the following terms of reference:

  • How should we define creativity in the context of education and child care?
  • What effect have existing creative initiatives had on teachers' skills and ability to work with creative professionals in the classroom?
  • What are the implications of a curriculum shift in favour of creativity for the training of heads, teachers and cultural animators?
  • How might parents and education and care providers be persuaded to encourage creativity in the home?
  • What special contribution do the arts have to make to creative education?
  • To what degree should creative education be structured to accommodate the needs of creative industries?
  • What evidence is there that a creative curriculum assists achievement in other areas?
  • What is the impact of a creative curriculum on pupil confidence, motivation, behaviour and team work, and Literacy, numeracy, ICT and communication skills?
  • How can creative achievement among young people be acknowledged and assessed?
  • How can creativity be embedded across the curriculum and within the philosophy of schools?
  • How can creativity in schools best be linked to the real work of work and leisure?

2. A main, but not sole, focus for the inquiry was the work of the Creative Partnerships scheme, which aims to link creative practitioners with schools and which was launched in 2002. It is funded largely by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with a smaller contribution from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Throughout this report, references to this DCSF and DCMS-funded scheme take the form of Creative Partnerships, while lower case, standard print is used to distinguish programmes or activities with similar aims which draw funding from elsewhere.

3. On 28 June 2007, the Secretary of State announced that the then Department for Education and Skills would be dissolved and replaced by two new departments, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and the Department for Innovation, Universities, and Skills. As a consequence, this Committee, which scrutinised the work of the DfES, will be replaced and will have to conclude its current business by early November 2007. We therefore decided to take a limited amount of oral evidence on Creative Partnerships and the Curriculum in the time remaining.

4. We took oral evidence from: Paul Collard, National Director, Creative Partnerships; Althea Efunshile, Executive Director, Arts Planning and Investment, Arts Council England; Rt. Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Jim Knight MP, Minister of State for Children and Learners, Department for Children, Schools and Families.

5. We also received around 150 written memoranda, a very large proportion of which were from schools and practitioners directly involved in the Creative Partnerships initiative, although we also received a number of memoranda from those involved in other schemes or initiatives. The memoranda have helped us greatly with our inquiry and we extend our thanks to those who took the time to write to us.

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Prepared 31 October 2007