News 17 Jul 2023

Why the performing arts has a place in the school curriculum

Access to a high quality performing arts training for young people throughout the UK is a force for public good, developing individuals who will power our world-leading creative industries for the future, fueling the economy, and enriching and transforming lives.
Leeds Conservatoire

Yet, performing arts education is being squeezed out of schools by a relentless focus on STEM subjects. This, at a time where cash-strapped families also face harsh choices between funding basic needs, or private tuition.    

In this hostile environment we find ourselves in a race against time; a race against choice and, increasingly, racing to stand still against the harsh realities of government policy.  The demand for places at our Junior Conservatoires is increasing exponentially, but we – and the trusts and foundations who support performing arts across the UK – do not have the capacity or financial means to replace the declining provision in the state school sector.  

We join with the voices of our colleagues across the creative sector in calling for a greater parity of esteem between performing arts and STEM subjects in our schools.  Across the UK, we need core curricula and associated assessment frameworks that enable and promote choice at all levels and for all young people, regardless of background.

If we fail to nurture the next generation of creative and performing artists, we put at risk the UK’s global reputation for creative excellence, as well as the future health of our creative economy and our social well-being as a whole.   

CUK Board