The Times Education Commission has launched its report into the future of education in Britain, referring to our work with young people in a call for additional funding for arts and creative subjects.

The report, published last week, called for a radical shakeup of the education system and additional funding for schools to spend on subjects such as drama and music.

The impact of our work with young people was referenced following our evidence to the Commission.

The report cites evidence that taking part in cultural activities boosts academic outcomes for children, positive attitudes to learning and builds self-confidence and social skills.

Four children seated cross-legged clapping hands and looking happy and excited wearing red school jumpers
Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Learning

"Making sure that all children - and not just a privileged few - have access to everything an arts-rich education offers would be a giant leap forward in the battle to skill-up, level-up and catch-up post pandemic.”

As well as calling for a broader curriculum, the Commission recommends a premium of £50 per secondary school pupil to fund additional activities including drama. The report strongly urges ministers to make arts and sporting activities an integral part of the curriculum instead of an optional ‘add on’.

Director of Learning Jacqui O’Hanlon said: “We know from our work with teachers and young people across the country that an arts rich education can unlock potential in all young people. Our own research shows that our approaches to teaching Shakespeare can lead to improved attitudes to school and learning more generally. 

“Seeing the wide-ranging benefits of an arts rich education acknowledged so powerfully in the Times Education Commission is encouraging. Making sure that all children - and not just a privileged few - have access to everything an arts-rich education offers would be a giant leap forward in the battle to skill-up, level-up and catch-up post pandemic.”