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Is the Government sidelining arts subjects in schools?

2 July 2018

The Communications Committee holds a one-off evidence session to consider the balance between the arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in schools.


In recent years, the Government has invested heavily in STEM subjects in schools, but some have expressed concern that there has been a decline in the number of pupils taking creative and arts subjects and a decline in the amount of time allocated to teaching them. In this session the Committee explores whether the perception that the Government's policies have sidelined arts subjects is supported by evidence. The Committee also considers how education policy in England should be directed to provide the future economy with a workforce that has the necessary skills and knowledge.


Tuesday 3 July, Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster

At 3.30pm

  • Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive Officer, National STEM Learning Network
  • Anita Bath, Headmistress of Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • James Zuccollo, Director for School Workforce, Education Policy Institute

At 4.30pm

  • Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive Officer, Incorporated Society of Musicians
  • Dr Hilary Leevers, Head of Education and Learning, Wellcome Trust
  • Professor Katharine Normington, Royal Holloway University of London

Possible lines of questioning

Topics that are likely to be covered over the two evidence sessions include:

  • Whether there is evidence that arts subjects are being sidelined in the national curriculum and in schools
  • The effect of Government policies, such as the English Baccalaureate, on the take-up of arts subjects
  • The benefits of arts education for individuals and for society
  • The consequences of early specialisation in the English school system to children and young people's development and choice of career.

Further information

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