We welcome today's news that the UK's top research universities are changing their advice on A-level subjects for young people.

Today (Thursday) it was announced that an interactive website will replace a list of traditional academic A-Level subjects which students are encouraged to choose if they want to get a place in a Russell Group university. We were one of several arts organisations that called for a change to the list, which diverted students away from creative subjects. 

Students in a theatre workshop

Our Director of Education Jacqui O'Hanlon said: "We have been calling for the Russell Group universities to axe their list of facilitating subjects. This was one of five calls to action that the RSC, Tate and the University of Nottingham made as part of the parliamentary launch of our Time to Listen research. The study, which is the largest of its kind, analysed 6,000 responses from young people and told us unequivocally that the message young people are receiving is that arts subjects are of less value to them than other subjects.

"The ‘facilitating subjects’ advice has unintentionally contributed to that prevailing and very damaging attitude; it has unintentionally devalued arts subjects. In practical terms this has led to a significant shift in the choices that young people make about which subjects will benefit them in the long term as well as contributing to the decline in numbers of arts teachers and hours spent teaching arts subjects in state-funded schools. All of this flies in the face of a growing body of research that highlights the important role the arts play in developing creativity, communication and interpersonal skills as well as fostering well-being, resilience and tolerance of others".

Time to listen

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