News / Art & Culture

Creative Industries demand equal access to the arts for all young people

Rankin, Adwoa Aboah and Imran Amed are some of the 150 people who have signed the open letter.

In the last ten years, the level of students taking creative subjects has fallen by a staggering amount, and it looks like it is set to get even worse as the government’s state school curriculum continues to exclude creative options for GCSEs.  This means young people from low-income backgrounds will not have the same access to creative industries as a private-school student would, thus driving the inequality gap between state and private schools even further – if that was possible.

The Creative Industries Federation have put their foot down for the sake of young people and for the future of Britain’s creative outlook, in an open letter to Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, the federation has called for a new broad and balanced curriculum within schools.

The creative industries are worth £101.5bn in the UK, and it’s found studying creative industries positively impacts young people’s wellbeing and future opportunities. Research has even discovered that art subjects can improve student’s performance in English and Maths.

Children who come from low-income backgrounds may only have the opportunities to engage with arts and culture through their schools, studies have found children without this access have a disadvantage both economically and educationally compared to those who do. The letter continues to outline how: “A system which means that only more privileged young people are able to access arts and culture does a disservice both to those young people who suffer as a result, and to a society that believes in the importance of social mobility and equality of opportunity.”

The letter also spotlights the importance creative industries have on the British economy, employing over 2 million people, with jobs in the sector growing three times the UK average. Earlier this summer, the Creative Industries Federation sent another open letter to Boris Johnson, calling for a second referendum and highlighting the extreme damage Brexit would cause to the sector.

The open letter has over 150 signatures and counting, these include some of the country’s highest-profile creatives, including model, Adwoa Aboah; Founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion, Imran Amed; Editor-in-Chief of AnOther Magazine, Susannah Frankel; and our very own HUNGER Founder, Rankin.

On signing the letter, Rankin explained: “This country is at a crossroads. For the government to further diminish opportunities for the UK’s next generation by cutting its commitment to creative education is disgraceful. It really shows a misunderstanding of the importance the role that creativity plays in empowering youth and building inclusive communities. What message does this send to the next wave of artists, designers, musicians and film-makers? One of the UK’s biggest exports is its creative culture – we need to fight to hand the baton down so this continues.”

Read the whole open letter here.

20 August 2019