Despite the UK Government’s focus on science, creative jobs are far less likely to be automated in the future, says Sara Jones in Design Week – so why are the arts being neglected in schools? Under the strapline 'Government policy is eroding creative education', she writes that "In recent years, [the government] has undermined the arts by excluding results in creative subjects from assessment criteria and league tables. Instead, it prioritises the core English Baccalaureate subjects, which are considered to be more academic."
I'm old enough to remember a time when Foundation level diplomas in Art & Design were reconfigured as what was then called the DATEC diploma, which required Fine Art departments in further education (with a knock-on for Higher Education too) to show that their students could, first and foremost, "meet the needs of British industry". The eventual result was a new breed of art student who went out into the world with a range of skills in marketing themselves with 'artists' statements' and 'savvy knowhow' about how to spin their work according to new 'professional criteria', but had spent far less time in the studio actually making 'the work'.
This issue has been with us for some time, but the corollary to that move in the 1980s with the reconfiguring of art education (the most major upheaval in arts education since the Coldstream Report in 1960), is now being felt across the entire educational sector.